STATEMENT: Roosevelt Institute Mourns the Death of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Roosevelt Institute joins all those mourning the loss of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. History will remember her as one of our nation’s greatest champions of equality and justice for all people.

An unlikely pioneer, with her soft voice and large glasses, Justice Ginsburg’s intellect and attitude made her a towering figure in our nation’s history. She recognized that equal opportunity is vital to self-determination and that economic inequality is one of the core problems of our age. She was a moral force on the court and in our contemporary life; her oral dissents captured the attention of court-watchers and reverberated throughout our culture as ominous warnings of the serious retrenchment we are facing today.

Her work was informed by her lived experience; despite being one of the leading legal minds of her time, she faced overt hiring discrimination that drove her efforts to transform the law. 

The recent embrace of her unlikely celebrity (known as the notorious RBG) made space for millions of women and girls to celebrate a history that is often erased: how recently women were and in some cases still do remain less than fully human in the eyes of the law. 

It is because of this legacy that the Roosevelt community celebrated Justice Ginsburg at the 2015 Four Freedoms Awards, at which she received the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Medal. The Four Freedoms Awards are presented to people whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles President Roosevelt proclaimed as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. 

We are grateful for Justice Ginsburg and for her lifelong efforts to protect these freedoms for all Americans.

She was and will remain an inspiration to all of us.

The Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after receiving the Freedom Medal

The Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the 2015 Four Freedoms Awards