Remembering a Voice of Strength, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dear Maryland Carey Law Community,

Yesterday, the country lost one of its most distinguished and cherished lawyers, scholars, and jurists. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, was an historic legal figure, making lifelong contributions to women’s rights and gender equality. 

Lawyers and law students will study her decisions and the cases she litigated for decades, and her work both as a litigator and jurist laid the groundwork for a more just and equitable society.   

Chief Justice Roberts captured this sentiment in his statement issued by the Court:

"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her -- a tireless and resolute champion of justice."

Others will write stories and biographies about the Justice and her legacy, and I commend this NPR story written by Nina Totenberg to you. For us as students and legal scholars, Justice Ginsburg’s groundbreaking work and jurisprudence on gender equality and struggles for equal justice under the law make her one of the most significant lawyers and Justices of our time. 

When I meet with prospective students or talk about why someone should become a lawyer, I always start with the notion that lawyers change the world. Our legal education provides us with unique skills and abilities, but more importantly, it provides us with the tools necessary to work for a better society. No one exemplified that better than Justice Ginsburg.      

Justice Ginsburg was a supporter of the Maryland Carey Law community, joining us for the opening of our new building in 2002. She also was celebrated in the opera “Scalia/Ginsburg” written by Maryland Carey Law alum Derrick Wang ‘13.  The opera paid tribute to the deep friendship between the justices that existed despite dramatic differences in their judicial philosophies. Today, more than ever, we need to celebrate that friendship and recognize ways to engage with people who have very different views than our own.

We all have so much to learn from Justice Ginsburg and her work, and today we mourn her passing. Our future, however, depends on the next generation of lawyers becoming the next “tireless and resolute champions of justice.”

Let Justice Ginsburg’s memory be an inspiration for us all, and may her memory help inspire us to work for a more just and fair society.

Donald Tobin, Dean

Note: Listen here to former dean Karen Rothenberg sharing memories of Justice Ginsburg on WYPR.

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