(Washington, DC) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the nation’s highest court and a fierce advocate for civil rights during her storied career as an attorney, law professor and justice, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 on Friday night. The following is a statement from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“Though Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is best known as a champion for women’s rights, her record on racial justice issues was second to none during her time on the court. As one example, her powerful dissent in Shelby County v Holderlaid bare the flaws of the majority’s stance that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was no longer needed and was prescient in predicting that the ruling would open the door to wide-scale voter suppression. She has inspired countless generations of women, lawyers and advocates to resiliently fight for our country to live up to the ideals enshrined in our Constitution. As an attorney, Ginsburg was a tireless advocate for equal justice under law, winning several seminal sex discrimination cases before the Supreme Court that guaranteed equal protection for all regardless of gender.
“Justice Ginsburg’s passing occurs during a pivotal moment in our country as we continue to face distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and as protests continue against police violence and racial injustice. Moreover, the 2020 election is already underway with voters casting ballots in at least 10 states across the country. Despite these grave circumstances, the U.S. Senate has failed to take final action on legislation that would provide desperately needed relief for Americans and resources for states to conduct safe and secure elections. The future of our democracy is at stake and Congress must address these pressing demands now.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.