CAMDEN, NJ — Female leaders from across the country, the state, and the local community - including Camden - are mourning the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at 87.
Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
The feminist icon was the second woman appointed to the court and served more than 27 years.
"No matter your political beliefs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg paved the way for countless other women to pursue a career in law," said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer. "She served as an inspiration for many to fight for what they believe in, even in the face of adversity."
Long before she became a justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg spent nearly a decade in Newark as a professor at the School of Law–Newark, now Rutgers Law School.
Sister school Rutgers-Camden reacted to the loss.
“It was with deep sadness that I read last night’s news about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her life was an example to all, but especially to those of us who are women in law,” said Kim Mutcherson, co-dean of Rutgers Law School at Rutgers University–Camden. “She was a fighter, a deep thinker, a life-long champion for gender equality, and a skilled writer. Her opinions, many written in dissent over the last several years, showed both her keen intellect and her understanding of the many ways in which law can be used as a tool of uplift and a tool of oppression. Her legacy will be long-lasting and her loss deeply felt on the Court and beyond. I look forward to seeing her example continue to inspire law students and lawyers to use their law degrees in righteous ways to pursue justice for the many and not just the few.”
Fanwood Municipal Court Judge Susan M. MacMullan said that when Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated from law school, she couldn't get hired by a law firm and that the only position she could get was teaching. It would end up being advantageous.
"That gave her the time to do pro bono cases. She took on women's rights cases, so that she could begin to level the playing field," Judge MacMullan said. "That's why it's important for future generations to continue her work."
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing is a devastating loss - for the legal community, for women lawyers, for all women and for anyone who cares about women’s rights," said Kathleen Barnett Einhorn, a partner at the Genova Burns law firm. "RBG paved the way for me and my sisters, and we will continue to fight her fight."
"In her 87 years, she was never resigned to accept the status quo. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a fierce advocate for women’s equality and since her early days as a lawyer, fought for justice for all," said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr. "She stood up to cancer like she did for what she believed in, never wavering. She may have been small in stature, but she leaves an immeasurable hole in our nation’s highest court."
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) also commented.
“I am heartbroken to learn that we’ve lost Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a giant, contributing to legal scholarship for over half a century from her time as a law professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School. She was an advocate for women’s rights, and a living legend of women’s leadership," said the Congresswoman.
“Justice Ginsburg was one of the greatest lawyers of her generation, fundamentally changing the way the law interacted with gender," she added. "Her strength and fire inspired millions of women, across careers, backgrounds, and generations, giving them a model for breaking through barriers of all kinds. And both her legal work and opinions from the highest court have offered millions opportunities they may never have otherwise been given. My husband and I will hold Justice Ginsburg and her family in our prayers.”
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts said of Justice Ginsburg: “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.”
A private interment service for Justice Ginsburg will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. The public may pay their respects Wednesday and Thursday.
She is survived by her two children: Jane Carol Ginsburg (George Spera) and James Steven Ginsburg (Patrice Michaels), four grandchildren: Paul Spera (Francesca Toich), Clara Spera (Rory Boyd), Miranda Ginsburg, Abigail Ginsburg, two step-grandchildren: Harjinder Bedi, Satinder Bedi, and one great-grandchild: Lucrezia Spera.
Her husband, Martin David Ginsburg, died in 2010.