Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was born in 1933 and earned her law degree from Columbia in 1959 after transferring from Harvard Law School. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to replace retiring Justice Byron White. She served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States until her death in 2020. She has made major contributions to gender equality law throughout her career. Her decisions and the ongoing fight for equality have had a significant impact on American society. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has never been afraid to share her opinion. Over the years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left us with some pretty memorable quotes that will live on throughout history.
We chose 35 of our favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes that showcase her stance on women’s rights, justice, and equality for all. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Let the Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes begin!
1) “When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
2) “It’s an unconscious bias. It’s the expectation. You have a lowered expectation when you hear a woman speaking, I think that still goes on. That instinctively when a man speaks, he will be listened to, where people will not expect the woman to say anything of value. But all of the women in my generation have had, time and again, that experience where you say something at a meeting, and nobody makes anything of it. And maybe half an hour later, a man makes the identical point, and people react to it and say, ‘Good idea.’ That, I think, is a problem that persists.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
3) “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
4) “If you’re a boy and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK. We should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Quotes on Equality
5) “I didn’t change the Constitution; the equality principle was there from the start. I just was an advocate for seeing its full realization.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
6) “In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
7) “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
8) “A gender line…helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
9) “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.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
10) “If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
11) “In the course of a marriage, one accommodates the other.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
12) “It bothers me when people say to make it to the top of the tree you have to give up a family.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
13) “Justices continue to think and can change. I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
14) “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.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Quotes on Women’s Rights
15) “People ask me sometimes, ‘When will there be enough women on the court?’ 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.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
16) “Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
17) “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.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
18) “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
19) “Reliance on overbroad generalizations…estimates about the way most men or most women are, will not suffice to deny opportunity to women whose talent and capacity place them outside the average description.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
20) “I don’t say women’s rights – I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
21) “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
22) “The greatest statement of equality is in the Declaration of Independence, written by a slaveholder.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
23) “I’m a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
24) “If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes on Leadership
25) “We children of public school age can do much to aid in the promotion of peace. We must try to train ourselves and those about us to live together with one another as good neighbors for this idea is embodied in the great new Charter of the United Nations. It is the only way to secure the world against future wars and maintain an everlasting peace.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
26) “Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself. You will want to leave the world a little better for your having lived.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
27) “When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
28) “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
29) “The words of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause-’nor shall any state deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.’ Well that word, ‘any person,’ covers women as well as men. And the Supreme Court woke up to that reality in 1971.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
30) “Yet what greater defeat could we suffer than to come to resemble the forces we oppose in their disrespect for human dignity?” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
31) “You can’t have it all, all at once.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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