September 21, 2020

Statement on the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dear Civil Rights and Social Justice Section Leaders, Members and Friends,

I'm sure by now you have heard the tragic news about the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Words cannot adequately express how heavy my heart is right now, and I know yours is too. Simply put, Justice Ginsburg's life embodied our very mission.

As our nation mourns this tremendous loss with those around the world, Justice Ginsburg's immeasurable contributions to gender equality, equal opportunity and civil rights will be remembered, but for us this loss is much more personal.  As members of the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice (formerly the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities), we know intimately of her contributions because Justice Ginsburg was more than a longstanding friend and supporter of the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section; in fact, she was one of us.

Prior to her appointment to the United States Supreme Court, then Professor Ginsburg was extremely active in our Section, eventually serving two terms on our Section Leadership Council (1975-1981). And even after her appointment to the United States Supreme Court, she continued to be an invaluable asset to our Section by frequently serving as the keynote speaker for many of our programs and by participating in numerous section events. In 1999, in recognition of her development and advancement of gender equality law, we bestowed upon her our Section's highest honor. Justice Ginsburg was the recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Award.

While our loss is heartbreaking and personal, please take comfort in knowing that the same passion that enables you to fight hard for civil and human rights was shared by such an icon. And take comfort in knowing that your leadership, service and contributions to this section are fitting ways to honor and continue the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This statement represents the views of the officers of CRSJ and is not an official statement of the ABA, which can be found here.