Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon, a staunch defender of justice for all Americans, and an inspiration for generations of young people to pursue a life of public service. Her passing is a loss for all Americans and people around the world who look to the United States for moral leadership.
Over the last decade, Justice Ginsburg—better known to some young people as the Notorious RBG—emerged as a consistent, if unlikely, source of pride and comfort for Millennials and Generation Z. Her values-based leadership on issues like same-sex marriage, gender justice, reproductive rights, and voting rights endeared Justice Ginsburg to millions of Millennials and members of Generation Z.
As our country and the courts struggled—and continue to struggle—to recognize the humanity of every individual, Justice Ginsburg stood in the gap and said “I dissent.” Through her consistent and courageous dissent, young people were inspired by her powerful protest for justice—especially when powerful institutions were not yet ready to embrace it—and encouraged to keep fighting for what is right. Justice Ginsburg showed us what we deserve from our country, institutions, and leaders.
According to press reports, Justice Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, just days before her death: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Generation Progress is committed to working alongside young people across the country to see that Justice Ginsburg’s wish is realized. We know that preservation of our rights, including our reproductive rights and access to healthcare—which Justice Ginsburg long championed—depends on a Supreme Court that recognizes and protects the rights of all of us, as Justice Ginsburg did. The Senate must not consider a replacement on the Court for Justice Ginsburg until the next presidential term.
The Notorious RBG exemplified the purpose and promise of public service, and we all have benefited from her work. Justice Ginsburg’s legacy will endure.