On Friday evening, September 18, 2020, along with countless millions of others, I was stunned to learn of the untimely passing of my legal hero, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death is a profound loss as our country suffers from intense division among party lines, unprecedented fires in the west, and the loss of 200,000 souls, so far, in a pandemic the likes of which have not been seen in more than 100 years. Because she survived bouts of cancer and other serious ailments for so many years, as well as the loss of her husband and greatest advocate, Martin D. Ginsburg, Esq., a decade before, I thought of Justice Ginsburg as invincible, almost immortal. But, there it was, the great “R.B.G.” had died.
As I compose this blog entry, I know there are many others writing blogs, articles, essays, tributes, and books about the life and legal career of this great woman. What can I say that has not or will not be said about Justice Ginsburg? We all know that she was a fierce advocate, a brilliant legal strategist and writer, and a champion for those who needed one and those who still do. By advocating for women, she helped to achieve equality for both woman and men. By advocating for the underprivileged, she helped to elevate all of us. By being a voice of reason, she helped foster civil relationships with the other Justices of our Supreme Court despite their ideological stripes, thereby leading them, at least on occasion, to join her ideological bent. But, there is so much left to be done. And, it is imperative now in the political climate raging in America, a country I love, that her good work be remembered and continued.
I concluded that perhaps the best way to honor Justice Ginsburg is with a quote of hers. But, which of the vast number of her words, all of which are worth living by? I have chosen one I think epitomizes Justice Ginsburg, the great woman she was: “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.” To me, those words apply not only to life partners, but to all relationships among people. Do not undervalue others because in so doing you undervalue yourself. Rest in peace, Justice Ginsburg.