‘I didn’t know her personally, but she knew me:’ Your memories of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
When Kalina Newman heard that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died on Friday night, she and her boyfriend immediately left the restaurant where they were having dinner, bought some flowers and went to the US Supreme Court to join the crowd of people honoring the 87-year-old associate justice.
“As soon as I saw the candles and felt how peaceful it was, I began to cry,” Newman told CNN.
Ginsburg, who embraced the nickname “The Notorious RGB” late in life, became a role model to generations because of her sharp wit, her legal knowledge and her fierce dissents.
CNN is asking people to share what Ginsburg meant to them and tributes have come in from all over the world.
Many saw her as a real-life super hero — complete with her own action figures — who stood up for the rights of women, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. Some said they didn’t agree with the liberal justice’s positions, but admired her for maintaining a long friendship with late Justice Antonin Scalia, despite their ideological difference.
You can share your thoughts on Ruth Bader Ginsburg below and read what others had to say about her trailblazing legacy. Some of the responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Victoria Pompei, 24, law student, Washington, D.C.
“She’s the reason I’m in law school. Every time I open my textbooks I release my inner RBG and know I belong. We owe her so much.”
Betsy Crow, 61, attorney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
“As a female attorney, there are not enough words to express what this loss feels like. I don’t remember the loss of a public figure ever bringing me to tears.
I’m a cancer survivor so I understand what it takes to fight while still meeting your obligations. She showed me what we are capable of even under the worst circumstances.
I listened to her fight the good fight with every dissenting opinion. She stood up for what was just and did it in a way that was clear and direct and so incredibly well thought out. She didn’t brow beat – just clear arguments based on the law.
She is every female attorney’s model of what being a lawyer should and can be.”
Kelli du Pont, 29, insurance adjuster, Spokane, Washington
“As a transgender woman, Ruth means the world to me. She was my rock. She highlighted the good in the country I grew up loving. She was strong and taught me that adversity gives you strength. I would not be here and have the protections I do if it wasn’t for the lion that she was. I didn’t know her personally, but she knew me. She [saw] me when others could not and she heard me when I felt like I was underwater. She will forever bless my soul.”
Laura Orlie, 27, attorney, New York
“My life as I know it would not be possible without the contributions RBG made to our country. I am a female attorney. I am also a gay woman. I’ve grown up with the understanding that I am equal to my male counterparts, both professionally and personally.
In law school and in my legal career, it has never crossed my mind that I could not succeed as my male counterparts could. I live my life openly gay, and take pride and comfort in the protections our country affords the LGBTQ+ community. This is all largely due to the path RBG paved, for my gender, my profession and my LGBTQ+ community.
RBG has given my generation the framework to continue the pursuit of an equal society, no matter gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. I mourn her loss deeply, and am thankful for her legacy.”
Jack Bartholet, 26, law student, Stonington, Connecticut
“Justice Ginsburg, my childhood hero, is the reason I’m currently in my third week at Harvard Law School. She is a legal giant whose intimate understandings of the Constitution and the fragility of our liberties rivals the likes of Madison and Marshall. She’s among such an elite group of people who have cradled our nation and its future in her hands, and I am devastated by her loss.”
Linda A. Dominguez, 66, attorney, Baltimore, Maryland
“As an older law student who is legally blind, Justice Ginsburg was the example that I chose to guide me through law school and my own legal career. I tried to model my own legal arguments and view of the law after her own fight for justice and I will miss reading her opinions in cases that reached down to the foundations of law to find the humanity also embodied by the US Constitution.”