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'A Force Of Nature': Tributes To Ginsburg From Connecticut

Tributes to the life and work of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have come in from across Connecticut.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a crusader, a fierce fighter for women’s rights and a firm believer in justice for all,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz in a statement issued Friday night. “As the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was a jurist of extraordinary talent. She approached every case -- no matter the complexity -- with compassion, intelligence and wisdom.”

Bysiewicz details how she knew Ginsburg from childhood. Her mother, Shirley Raissi Bysiewicz, was a law professor and colleague of Ginsburg’s at a time when few women worked in the law. 

“She inspired many women, including me, to enter the legal profession,” said Bysiewicz.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ned Lamont directed U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff as a mark of respect for Ginsburg. They’ll remain at half-staff until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined.

Lamont paid tribute to her as a “giant inspiration and pioneer for women globally” and recalled Ginsburg’s famous assertion that “‘there will be enough women on the court when there are nine.’”

In an emotional statement, Rep. Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut’s 3rd District spoke of Ginsburg as a “firebrand” and a “giant.”

“Justice Ginsburg changed what it meant to be a woman in America,” DeLauro said. “Long before she donned judicial robes, she knew women deserved a seat at every table and fought for equality with the weight of the world on her shoulders.”

“In this dark time, I reflect on what our world would have looked like had Ruth Bader Ginsburg backed down from a fight. I wonder what women’s health care would look like and which freedoms would be missing. I wonder what universities would be accepting women and whether I would find a door with my name on it in the halls of Congress.”

Her efforts as a champion of women’s reproductive rights was also recognized by organizations that have built on that work.

“We are incredibly grateful for Justice Ginsburg, a legal giant who never stopped defending our right to control our bodies, our lives and our futures,” said Liz Gustafson, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. “We are committed to defending her legacy by embodying all she stood for as we work to protect and expand reproductive freedom. Tonight we mourn, tomorrow we fight.” 

Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden recalled Ginsburg’s signal achievements even before her almost three-decade tenure on the high court.

“As the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the first tenured female law professor at Columbia University, she paved the way for so many women to have a seat at the table,” Wooden said.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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