Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg



RBG Memorial


SBA President, Jackie Fisher, 3L, presents a note at the memorial for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the United States Supreme Court Building.

From the moment the sad news broke of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tributes to the revered Supreme Court justice began pouring in from around the globe. A feminist icon who fought tirelessly for women’s rights and gender equality, Justice Ginsburg leaves behind an indelible legacy and touched the lives of countless Americans—including many members of the GW Law community who counted her as a mentor and friend.

A strong supporter of GW, Justice Ginsburg visited our campus many times over the years to speak at events and interact with our students and alumni. Most recently, she honored GW Law alumni with her presence at a reception celebrating their Supreme Court Bar swearing-in ceremony in January.

Several GW Law faculty members joined together to discuss their memories and stories of the life and legacy of Justice Ginsburg.

Watch the event

Below we proudly share a sampling of the countless remembrances and photographs encapsulating the justice’s long and enduring connection to GW Law.

Remembrance from Jeffrey Rosen


Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Jeffrey Rosen

Professor Jeffrey Rosen interviewing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the National Constitution Center.

Jeffrey Rosen began a lifelong friendship with Justice Ginsburg when, as a law clerk, he found himself on an elevator with then-U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ginsburg. The judge stood completely silent, and Rosen felt deeply “intimidated.” To break the silence, Rosen asked a question about opera. “She blossomed and got really enthusiastic,” Rosen recounted on CBS This Morning Saturday, and their friendship was born. He has written about his relationship with Justice Ginsburg in his book Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. With her passing, he has spoken frequently of her life and legacy.

"Those who met and admired her…talked about the same fact, that whenever you’re not using every moment of the day productively, focused on helping others and improving society, you think, ‘What would RBG do?,’ and then you just buckle down and get back to work. [She was] just the most daunting example of self-discipline and devotion to the ideal of a more equal America that any of us has ever encountered, and as a result, we were honored to live in the presence of one of the most influential advocates for constitutional change in American history," he said.


Remembrance from Jonathan Turley


Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Jonathan Turley recounts the impact of Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, his many meetings with her over the years, and the future of the Supreme Court.

"Many years ago, I spoke at a judicial conference and mentioned with pride at lunch that George Washington University graduated the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court. I had barely spoken the name of Belva Ann Lockwood when a barely audible voice came from across the table saying, “Well, of course, they withheld her diploma.”

The voice was that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, as usual, she had delivered a haymaker in a virtual whisper. I had the honor of meeting her many times, but that incident was the ultimate “RBG” moment for me. She was always direct and honest. And she was right. We could claim to have done what other schools refused to do, but we failed to entirely evolve in the moment. Lockwood laid the foundation for the transformation of the Supreme Court. Ginsburg was that transformation."





Remembrance from Paul Schiff Berman


RBG Officiating the wedding of Paul Schiff Berman

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiating the wedding of Professors Paul Schiff Berman and Laura Dickinson.

Paul Schiff Berman is a former law clerk of Justice Ginsburg. Her impact on his professional and personal life has been profound.

“Justice Ginsburg took an intense personal interest in the lives, careers, and general welfare of her clerks.  I remember when I was clerking for her, I began dating Laura Dickinson, now my wife but then a clerk for one of the other justices.  Somehow (I never found out how), Justice Ginsburg discovered this new relationship; she buzzed me on the intercom one day and with a twinkle in her voice said, ‘I didn’t know you had a special friend at the Court; you must have her up for tea.’  Sure enough, the following week, Justice Ginsburg had tea with Laura and me.  I remember she had a tablecloth laid on the table in her office, with fine china and everything.  Two years later, Justice Ginsburg officiated when Laura and I got married. And the last time I saw her in chambers, she gave deeply felt advice to our teenage son, whom we brought along to meet her. She saw her legacy in her clerks and in the young people whom she inspired all over the country.”


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