LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Following the announcement that Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the longest serving woman on the U.S. Supreme Court and a strong liberal voice on issues dividing the nation — had died at the age of 87 from pancreatic cancer, area leaders issued statements celebrating her legacy and mourning her loss.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg knew our country could always be better,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “But our union is surely more perfect because of her service and her judgment. Our city mourns the loss of this legend. Our nation must carry on her cause.”
“There isn’t a woman in America who has not benefited and lived a better life because of her vast contributions to the women’s movement,” City Council President Nury Martinez said. “She was a giant for women’s rights, and set an example for what can be achieved by the will and determination of a single woman. It is our collective responsibility and duty to follow in her footsteps.”
Prior to her appointment to the court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, she argued six landmark cases — winning five — that sought to eliminate legal barriers holding women back in the workplace and civic life. In her more than 25 years on the high court, she supported abortion rights, marriage equality, the Affordable Car Act and women seeking restitution for unequal pay.
“Justice Ginsburg was a lifelong champion of equality and social justice,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. “She also was an unlikely hero and role model for millions of young people who admired her courage and values. Justice Ginsburg was a force of nature and made an extraordinary impact on our country that will endure for decades.”
“From gender equality to gay rights, Justice Ginsburg played a pivotal role in some of our nation’s most important civil rights victories,” Congressman Jimmy Gomez, D-CA 24th District, said. “Yes, she was a trailblazer and an icon to millions of Americans, but she was also a monument to our ongoing fight to secure justice for all. I have no doubt her legacy will serve as a guiding light to future generations, and her name – cemented in history – will forever be associated with the concepts of kindness, compassion, and tolerance.”
The soft-spoken, elderly justice achieved an unexpected measure of pop culture stardom in her later years, when a blog and online memes that dubbed her “Notorious R.B.G.” went viral and led to a best-selling biography by the same name.
“RBG’s trailblazing legacy cannot be overstated as she wrote some of the most consequential decisions in our nation’s history,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “We have lost a true champion of American democracy, but we will honor her legacy by carrying on a relentless fight for a more equitable, just United States of America.”
A documentary film, “RBG,” and a Hollywood dramatization of her story, “On the Basis of Sex,” helped cement Ginsburg’s image as a crusader in pop culture.