McConnell Speaks in Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
‘Our nation is mourning the end of an exceptional American life. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant so much to our country… She was not just a lawyer, but a leader. From majority opinions to impassioned dissents, her life’s work will not only continue to shape jurisprudence, but also enlighten scholars and students for generations.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
“Our nation is mourning the end of an exceptional American life. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant so much to our country.
“First and foremost, she was a brilliant, generational legal mind who climbed past one obstacle after another to summit the very pinnacle of her profession.
“Justice Ginsburg was a fixture on our nation’s highest court for more than a quarter of a century.
“She was not just a lawyer, but a leader. From majority opinions to impassioned dissents, her life’s work will not only continue to shape jurisprudence, but also enlighten scholars and students for generations.
“By all accounts, Justice Ginsburg loved her work because she loved the law. In a more ordinary life story, her courage and continued excellence in the face of multiple serious illnesses would itself be the heroic climax, rather than just one more remarkable chapter among so many.
“On the Court, Justice Ginsburg was a universally-admired colleague. It is no wonder that many Americans have taken particular comfort these past days in remembering her famous friendship with her ideological opposite, the late Justice Scalia.
“Together, they made sure the halls of justice also rang with laughter and comity. They rarely sat on the same side of a high-profile decision, but they still sat together at the opera — and most any other time they could manage it.
“So the legal world is mourning a giant, but Justice Ginsburg’s fellow Justices, a legion of loyal law clerks, and countless many others are mourning a close friend or mentor. The Senate sends condolences to them all.
“Yet Justice Ginsburg’s impact on American life went deeper still. Friday’s loss feels personal to millions of Americans who may never have made her acquaintance.
“Justice Ginsburg was a spirited, powerful, and historic champion for American women to a degree that transcends any legal or philosophical disagreement.
“As she climbed from the middle-class, Brooklyn, Jewish roots of which she was so proud into the most rarefied air of law and government, the future Justice had to surmount one sexist obstacle after another.
“And Justice Ginsburg did not only climb a mountain; she blazed a trail.
“Through deeds, through words, and simply through her example, she helped clear away the cobwebs of prejudice. She opened one professional door after another and made certain they stayed open behind her.
“Directly or indirectly, she helped entire generations of talented women build their lives as they saw fit and enrich our society through professional work. Law and politics aside, no friend of equality could fail to appreciate Justice Ginsburg’s determination.
“Finally, while Justice Ginsburg relished forceful writing and detailed argument, she was also, in important ways, a uniter. In recent years, many who consider themselves her admirers and might wish to claim the Justice for their political “side” have come to embrace reckless proposals to politicize the very structure of the Court itself.
“But Justice Ginsburg remained unswerving in her public commitment to preserving the neutral foundation of the institution she loved.
“The entire Senate is united in thinking of and praying for Justice Ginsburg’s family -- most especially her daughter Jane, her son James, her grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-granddaughter, and everyone who called her their own.”
Related Issues: Tributes, Supreme Court