9 Powerful Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes That Will Define Her Legacy

Justice Ginsburg's words look to the future, even after her passing.

Despite all the ways Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made history, she knew the fight for equality wasn’t quite won. Still, the trailblazing attorney perpetually looked to the future with optimism throughout her 87 years.

These nine Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes speak to that optimism. Her words—part reflection, part advice—reveal what will now be her legacy: a call to action for future generations to continue her life’s work.

On leading a life worth living:

“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.”

On enacting real change:

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

On the meaning of gender equality:

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

On the number of women on the Court:

“I’m sometimes asked, ‘When will there be enough?’ 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 working together, even when you disagree:

“My hope is that we will get back to the way it once was, that kind of collegiality, good relations, people who liked and respected each other even though they disagreed on some important questions.”

On the importance of dissenting:

“Dissents speak to a future age. The greatest dissents become court opinions and gradually become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.”

On continuing to fight for what’s right:

“You go on to the next challenge and you give it your all. These important issues are not going to go away.”

On changing the status quo:

“I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow.”

On her own legacy:

“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.”

Next, find out about more trailblazing women who made history.

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