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Even before she was appointed as the second female Supreme Court Justice by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg held many titles: Ivy League graduate, champion of women’s and civil rights, and countless others. She was also the first Jewish woman to serve on the United States’ highest court. Her passing on September 18, 2020 shocked the nation and has brought up debates on the future of representation for women in all areas of American society.  She represented strength, power, and perseverance for those who felt underrepresented and powerless. 

Coined with the nickname, “The Notorious RBG”, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admired for her wit, intelligence, and integrity. Although she was one of the most powerful and influential women in the United States, she was able to relate to the American people through her words. Here are five of her most memorable quotes:

Mother Knows Best

“My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.”

Representation in the Supreme Court

“When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]?’ and my answer is: ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

On Selflessness

“To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.”

Life is a Balancing Act

“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.”

Patience is a Virtue

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

At a time where the United States is defined by a pandemic, political unrest, and racial injustice, it’s important to listen to those who strived to make a change. Although Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t able to see the progress she worked tirelessly for, she will continue to inspire the next generation of young women who want to make a difference.

Paige is one of the senior editors for the University of Maine's chapter of HerCampus! She is an English and Journalism double major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in media studies. In her free time, Paige writes, reads, talks too much, goes thrifting, and hangs out with her pals.
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