10 Smart Quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Image Credit: US National Trust and Archives

The feisty Supreme Court justice has never been shy about the struggle she faced in fighting her way to her seat on the highest court in the land, and these 10 smart and savvy quotes just might explain how she managed her accomplishments with equal parts ferocity and grace.

#10. Live to fight another day.

Image Credit: US National Archives

“I’m dejected, but only momentarily, when I can’t get the fifth vote for something I think is very important. But then you go on to the next challenge and you give it your all. You know that these important issues are not going to go away. They are going to come back again and again. There’ll be another time, another day.”

(via The Record [PDF])

#9. Free to be.

Image Credit: Montana Suffragettes

“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.”

(In an interview with Makers)

#8. She no doubt made her mama proud.

Image Credit: Lynn Gilbert

“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.”

(via ACLU)

#7. On having it all.

Image Credit: Steve Petteway

“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.”

(From an interview with Katie Couric)

#6. Always hope for the future.

Image Credit: Steve Petteway

“[J]ustices 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.”

(From an interview with Katie Couric)

#5. On making rejection look like opportunity.

“You think about what would have happened … Suppose I had gotten a job as a permanent associate. Probably I would have climbed up the ladder and today I would be a retired partner. So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.”

(In conversation with Makers)

#4. Teachable moments for a nation.

“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.”

(From an interview with MSNBC)

#3. Keeping up with her grands.

Image Credit: joshblackman.com

“I think a law clerk told me about this Tumblr and also explained to me what Notorious RBG was a parody on. And now my grandchildren love it and I try to keep abreast of the latest that’s on the tumblr. … [I]n fact I think I gave you a Notorious RBG [T-shirts]. I have quite a large supply.”

(In an interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg)

#2. When will there be enough women on the court?

Image Credit: Steve Petteway

“[W]hen I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court]? And I say ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

(In an interview with 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, via CBS News)

#1. When will men and women be truly equal?

Image Credit: Simmie Knox

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

(via The Record [PDF])

She’s goals, little girls. Straight goals.