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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes: the jurist gets jiggy.

Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.  My mother told to be a lady.  And for her, that meant be your own person.  Be independent.”

“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.”

“My mother told me two things constantly.  One was to be a lady.  And that meant conduct yourself civilly, don’t let emotions like anger or envy get in your way.  And the other was to be independent, which was an unusual message for mothers of that time to be giving their daughters.”

“I’m a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.”

“People who think you could wave a magic wand and the legacy of the past will be over… are blind.”

“When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out.  Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

”Anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity are wasteful reactions.  They greatly drain one’s time.  They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors.”

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.”

“I’m sure I’ve changed my mind about something.  Inevitably, when we grow up… we get more experience and get wiser.  Well, I’ve changed my mind about some food that I didn’t like when I was young.”

“No one who is in business for profit can foist his or her beliefs on a workforce that includes many people who do not share those beliefs.”

“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.”

“Choosing the right word, and the right word order… could make an enormous difference in conveying an image or an idea.”

“If you want to influence people, you want them to accept your suggestions, you don’t say, ‘You don’t know how to use the English language,’ or ‘How could you make that argument?’  It will be welcomed much more if you have a gentle touch than if you are aggressive.”

”We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, ‘We, the people.’”

“Anybody who has been discriminated against, who comes from a group that’s been discriminated against, knows what it’s like.”

“I was tremendously fortunate to be alive and a lawyer, working at a university so I had more flexible hours, when the women’s movement was coming alive and when it became possible to argue successfully for a view of the equal protection clause that included women.”

“I successfully fought gender discrimination.  I showed up for the job with all the strength I had, never letting personal struggles get in the way of my goals as I stood up for women’s rights.”

“We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold—because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.”

“The side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle.  Time is on the side of change.”

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

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.  It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

“For both men and women the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show.  As women achieve power, the barriers will fall.  As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

“I try to teach through my opinions, through my speeches, how wrong it is to judge people on the basis of what they look like—color of their skin, whether they’re men or women.”

“All I can say is I am sensitive to discrimination on any basis because I have experienced that upset.”

“We should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—manmade barriers, certainly, not heaven sent.”

“My mother graduated from high school at 15 and went to work to support the family because the eldest son went to college.”

“My mother was a powerful influence.  She made me toe the line.  If I didn’t have a perfect report card, she showed her disappointment.”

“I became a lawyer for selfish reasons.  I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other.”

“If I had any talent in the world… I would be a great diva.”

“At my advanced age (I’m now an octogenarian) I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who want to take my picture.”

“If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.  I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.”

“Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf.  That advice has stood me in good stead.  Not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.”

“How fortunate I was to be alive and a lawyer when, for the first time in United States history, it became possible to urge, successfully, before legislatures and courts, the equal-citizenship stature of women and men as a fundamental constitutional principle.”

“I never missed a day of work until the year I underwent surgery.  Even then, I worked from home.”

“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.”

“I will do this job as long as I feel that I can do it full steam.”

“I continue to have workouts with my trainer in the Supreme Court’s exercise room, proving my strength inside and out.”

“Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.”

“I really concentrate on what’s on my plate at the moment and do the very best I can.”

“I just read Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book.  She talked about ‘we don’t have it all.’  Who does?  I’ve had it all in the course of my life, but at different times.  Things were rough.”

“[On how she’d like to be remembered] As someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.  And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.  To do something… outside myself.  ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.”

Related: Savannah Guthrie quotes.

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