BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s legal community is mourning the loss of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including many who say her career inspired them.
Roger Williams University Law professor Emily Sack worked for the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, which Ginsburg co-founded in 1972. She says that experience changed her life.
“I’m not exaggerating to say that that experience really changed the whole direction of my career, and her work both legally and also as a human being really inspired me to work in the field,” she said.
While in private practice, Ginsburg won five cases involving women’s rights before the Supreme Court. Sack describes the 27-year high court veteran as a relentless fighter with a unique strategy. Ginsburg would often argue men’s rights to ultimately benefit women as well.
“She had a very sophisticated strategy as a litigator in trying to win rights for women legally. She started with some cases where it was actually men that were being excluded for certain rights or abilities under the law, but her intent in doing that was really to show that when we box men in and stereotype men and make assumptions and stereotypes about women, that everybody loses,” Sack said.
Sack called Ginsburg’s death devastating and said the vacancy of her Supreme Court seat is a concern.
“It’s pretty clear that when we are this close to an election, it really doesn’t make sense for the current president to be the one to appoint this justice if and when he were to be re-elected. Whether it’s a man or a woman, it’s about supporting the rights of equality,” she said.