After the Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known as “RBG,” passed away at 87 on Sept. 18 due to a 20-year long cancer battle, Seton Hall students took time to reflect on her legacy and the future.
Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. During her time on the nation’s court and arguing before it as a lawyer, she was known as a staunch advocate of gender equality.
KerriAnn McKeown, a sophomore secondary education major, said she was greatly impacted by Ginsburg’s death because of the progress she had made for women.
“Her legacy means a great deal to me because, without her, there would be far less equality for women,” McKeown said.
McKeown added that Ginsburg is the reason why women can have their own credit cards and a mortgage, and it is important to recognize that she made this happen.
Camila Mora, a freshman political science major, said Ginsburg made her feel like part of the feminist community because of her continued fight for gender equality.
“I’m obviously not Jewish, and I’m not American, but she represented me as a woman,” Mora said. “She gave me this idea that if I work hard, I can get what I want.”
Both McKeown and Mora voiced their fear for the future, as they said they were scared that the new justice taking Ginsberg’s place may threaten or take away the rights for which she fought so hard.
“It makes me feel so afraid to lose my rights,” Mora said.
Mora also said that different decisions on issues such as abortion and Planned Parenthood might take place, which she views as scary since Planned Parenthood provides so much more for women than just abortions.
Isabelle Garino, a freshman political science major, said she was not fearful of losing her rights, but rather for “becoming more divided politically and allowing us to forget her virtues and work.”
Garino said Ginsburg has always been a role model and a symbol of determination.
Mora said social media has helped and made people more aware of Ginsberg’s accomplishments and thinks that social media conversations will encourage people to watch Ginsberg’s documentary, buy her book and educate themselves on her work.
“Sometimes, we as women take for granted all the things…and the liberties we have,” Mora said. “We have them because someone fought for us.”
“Even in her absence,” Garino said, “I know she will continue to live on in the hearts and the minds of determined and ambitious people.”
Alyssa Bernhammer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.