57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Guide Us Forward

Here are 57 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes to guide us forward in this time of mourning. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1933-2020. Baruch Dayan Emet, literally meaning “blessed is the judge of truth”.

Mourning RBG

Today I want to share 57 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes to guide us forward. I have been collecting and reflecting on quotes since she died.  Reading her words, and words spoken about her has felt therapeutic. 

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at home on Friday 18th September 2020. Joan Ruth Bader was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, NYC, into a Jewish immigrant family.  She said of her family:

What’s the difference between a bookkeeper in New York’s garment district, which my mother was, and a supreme court justice? The difference is one generation.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

RBG Bottom Line: gender inequality is harmful to everyone. 

She went on to be the second woman, the first Jewish woman, to serve on the Supreme Court. Throughout her life and career, Justice Ginsburg fought against oppression and inequality. She is credited with transforming opportunities and livelihoods previously dictated by gender inequalities. She was influential on Civil Rights Law, and dismantled a network of laws which supported sex discrimination. Perhaps surprisingly, many of her landmark legal successes came while she was representing men. Ultimately, Justice Ginsberg was clear: gender inequality is harmful to everyone. 

For more complete information about her life and work, read this honoring obituary

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Died the Last Day of Jewish Year 5780

A Jewish teaching says those who die just before the Jewish new year are the ones God has held back until the last moment because they were needed most & were the most righteous. And so it was that #RBG died as the sun was setting last night marking the beginning of Rosh Hashanah.
Nina Totenberg 

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Read more about  Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s decades long friendship with Nina Totenberg here.

RBG: The Cultural Icon: “There’s no Truth without Ruth”

Justice Ginsburg became a cultural icon in her 80s. Across America, we saw bumper stickers reading “There’s no Truth without Ruth”. After she was nicknamed Notorious RBG, a variety of printed merchandise featuring her image – with the crown associated with the rapper Notorious BIG –  was produced. Her life has been memorialised in a number of biographies, some of which include:

“I Dissent”, an RBG biography for children. 

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

Quotes by RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an unparalleled person of influence. Her prominent position means we are gifted with enormous records of her wisdom. We can reflect on the things she said and use them as anchors for us as we move forward. Here are 38 quotes to help us remember her, and ensure her legacy guides us as we all continue to push forward with her influence. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes on gender equality

I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women judges on the US Supreme Court bench] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I pray that I may be all that [my mother] would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Think back to 1787. Who were ‘we the people’? … They certainly weren’t women … they surely weren’t people held in human bondage. The genius of our Constitution is that over now more than 200 sometimes turbulent years that ‘we’ has expanded and expanded.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

[Abortion rights are] something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It’s a decision that she must make for herself. And when the government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We are at last beginning to relegate to the history books the idea of the token woman.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes on professional life

My tremendous satisfaction is that I was able to use my skill as a lawyer to make things a little better for other people.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I tell law students… if you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, you have a skill—very much like a plumber. But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself… something that makes life a little better for people less fortunate than you.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I became a lawyer for selfish reasons. I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I just try to do the good job that I have to the best of my ability and I really don’t think about whether I’m inspirational. I just do the best I can.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

[I would like to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes on power and freedom

When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I dissent. 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes on life and emotions

Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just zap energy and waste time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

You can’t have it all, all at once.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I’m a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes on marriage

In the course of a marriage, one accommodates the other.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dear, in every good marriage it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes on Judaism and Jewish Identity

The Jewish religion is an ethical religion. That is, we are taught to do right, to love mercy, do justice, not because there’s gonna be any reward in heaven or punishment in hell. We live righteously because that’s how people should live.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I am a judge born, raised, and proud of being a Jew.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I had three strikes against me, one I was Jewish, two I was a woman, but the killer was I was the mother of a four-year-old child.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The demand for justice runs through the entirety of the Jewish tradition. I hope, in my years on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will have the strength and courage to remain constant in the service of that demand.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In striving to drain dry the waters of prejudice and oppression, we must rely on measures of our own creation — upon the wisdom of our laws and the decency of our institutions, upon our reasoning minds and our feeling hearts. And as a constant spark to carry on, upon our vivid memories of the evils we wish to banish from our world. In our long struggle for a more just world, our memories are among our most powerful resources.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Laws as protectors of the oppressed, the poor, the loner, is evident in the work of my Jewish predecessors on the Supreme Court. The Biblical command: ‘Justice, justice shalt thou pursue’ is a strand that ties them together.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Quotes about Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg made a remarkable impact on our world. It is no surprise then that so many influential figures have come forward to honor her. These memories and tributes from those who worked closely with her give us more insight into what an extraordinary person she was. Here are 16 quotes about Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s black coffee always brewed strong.
Abbe R. Gluck and Gillian E. Metzger 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the hardest working, most deliberate person either one of us has ever worked for. She taught us to be strong and to stand behind our work.
Abbe R. Gluck and Gillian E. Metzger 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Today, more than ever, women starved for models of female influence, authenticity, dignity, and voice hold up an octogenarian justice [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] as the embodiment of hope for an empowered future.
Dahlia Lithwick

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say “who knows, one day you could be HER”
Mindy Kaling

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. 
Hilary Clinton 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rest is earned. It is our turn to fight.
Kerry Washington 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

[Ruth Bader Ginsburg] was an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice.
Joe Biden 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Rest in power to a feminist icon and American hero! Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg for your service, for working well BEYOND retirement until the very end because our country needed you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Janet Mock

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.
Bernie Sanders

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was small in stature but even the tallest looked up to her. Her voice was soft but her message rang loud and clear and will echo forever.
Dolly Parton 

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was keenly aware, as she always was, of how the law affects real women in real life.
Abbe R. Gluck and Gillian E. Metzger

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

For Justice Ginsburg, equality did not mean special – she would say “pedestal” – treatment for women. Equality meant the same treatment for men and women. 
Abbe R. Gluck and Gillian E. Metzger

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.
Barack Obama

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.
Barack Obama

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw being a Jew as having a place in society in which you’re always reminded you are an outsider, even when she, as a Supreme Court justice, was the ultimate insider.
Jane Eisner

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was passionate about Judaism’s concern for justice and was shaped in the crucible of its minority status.
Yonat Shimron

57 Quotes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sharing our inspiration

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a key figure in our history, and a personal inspiration for many. Please share your favorite quote, a memory or a way her life touched on yours in the comments below. 

Quotations are food for thought

Reading quotations is an easy and quick way to connect to meaningful ideas throughout our busy days.  Words are “food”  for our mind, body and soul and help us to learn, get unstuck and move forward.  

Here are more collections of meaningful quotations to inspire us:

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