21 Times Ruth Bader Ginsburg Said The Best, Baddest Thing Ever

ruth bader ginsburg quotes
Quotes, Self

She's a badass MF.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginburg, 83, has served on the United States' higher court since 1993, and in those 23 years, she has proven to pack all kinds of punches in what some might call a pint-sized body (she's 5'1").

She doesn't shy from a push-up, but her real badass bitch is on best display with her scathing legal dissents (she has a designated Banana Republic necklace she dons whenever about to deliver one), and her willingness to cock an eyebrow and level a can't-mess-with-it argument when she witnesses Neandrathal-ish sexism or backwards views on equal rights.

The avid-reading, opera-loving Ginsburg has been a role model in a great many ways, and she happens to be highly quotable. We submit the following as proof that she is all and each of the below.

A voracious reader


"Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped my dreams come true."

2. "This was a girl who was an adventurer, who could think for herself, who was the dominant person in her relationship with her young boyfriend." (on her childhood affinity for Nancy Drew)

A killer pen

3. "The written argument endures. The oral argument is fleeting."

4. "I thought to myself, 'Don't stay up all night... But then my pen was hot." (on why she famously fell asleep at the 2015 State of the Union; she also confessed to being "tipsy")

A life coach


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

6. "If you can't disagree ardently with your colleagues about some issues of law and yet personally still be friends, get another job, for Pete's sake." (on maintaining a friendship with late fellow Justice Antonin Scalia, despite their constitutional differences.

A relationship guru

7. "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."

8. "[He was] the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain." (on late husband Marty Ginsburg, her spouse for 56 years, who did most of the cooking)

A feminist warrior

9. "Feminism... I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang: 'Free to be You and Me.' Free to be, if you were a girl — doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you're a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that's OK, too. That notion that 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 told me two things constantly: One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the '40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S."


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

A constitutional badass

12. "I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012."

13. "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." (on the Court's Hobby Lobby decision)

14. "Dissents speak to a future age. It's not simply to say, 'My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.' But the greatest dissents do become court opinions, and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow."

A democracy watchdog

15. "Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake-proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination."


"I think our system is being polluted by money." (voicing her opposition to the Court's Citizen United decision)

One of us

17. "I just try to do the good job that I have to the best of my ability, and I really don't think about whether I'm inspirational. I just do the best I can."

18. "You can't have it all at once. Over my lifespan, I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time, things were rough."

Also better than us

19. "I do a variety of weight-lifting, elliptical glider, stretching exercises, push-ups... and I do the Canadian air force exercises every day."

A woman with #goals


"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."

And still, a dreamer...


"If I had any talent in the world... I would be a great diva."

If you're searching for the best quotes and memes to share with the people you love (or just want to feel inspired yourself) ... look no further! From the sweetest love quotesinspirational sayingsfriendship quotes, and hilarious relationship truths, we've got you covered.