24 Of The Best Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes You Should Know

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 19, 2020
  • These are some of the best Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes you should know

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933-September 18, 2020) — who was known by her initials RBG — had served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020. RBG was nominated by President Bill Clinton and she was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court after Sandra Day O’Connor. 

After O’Connor’s retirement in 2006 and until Sonia Sotomayor joined the Court in 2009, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. And Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court. And she was the first female member of the Harvard Law Review and she graduated at the top of her class at Columbia Law School. 

At Columbia University, RBG became the first female tenured law professor. RBG went on to launch the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women Rights Project and as a general counsel for the ACLU, she started appearing in front of the Supreme Court where she argued six cases for women’s rights before President Jimmy Carter nominated her to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was a fierce advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. 

Ginsburg passed away at her home in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 2020 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. And she never gave up without a fight as she fought colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and fractured three ribs after a fall in her office. And she recently had a surgery to remove cancerous growths from her left lung. RBG was also known for making exercising a staple in her life well into her late 80s. She worked out twice a week with a trainer.

Here are some of the best Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes you should know:

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

“Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf…That advice has stood me in good stead. Not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.”

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

“I don’t say women’s rights — I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.” 

“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.”

“I’m a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.”

“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.”

“If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.”

“Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.”

“My mother told me two things constantly: One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.”

“People ask me sometimes… ‘When will there be enough women on the court?’ And my answer is: ‘When there are nine.’”

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

“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.”

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

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

“The side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.”

“When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out.”

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“You can’t have it all, all at once.”

“We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.”

“When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” 

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

“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

“Work for what you believe in, but pick your battles, and don’t burn your bridges. Don’t be afraid to take charge, think about what you want, then do the work, but then enjoy what makes you happy, bring along your crew, have a sense of humor.”