Justice and Journalism

RGB’s life, loss and legacy

Justice+and+Journalism

Our View

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a force.

Despite being slightly over five feet, 100 pounds and a five-time cancer survivor, her fervent passion for the law and steely determination in the fight to protect fellow Americans made her commitment to upholding justice and truth all too clear.

Ginsburg exemplified the power of calm, intellectual thought, patiently but persistently applied – and also demonstrated that deep, emotional disagreement was compatible with friendship, civil discourse and collegiality. She was the very embodiment of what journalism should look like – dignified, well-researched, truthful and straightforward.

She believed in the idea of “We the People” and often referred to those words from the Preamble to the Constitution, carefully observant that it only included a subset of the population. To Ginsburg, “We the People” should always be the north star we use to measure our journey toward a more perfect union. In her quest to repair fractures of the law, she stood up for fraternity brothers wanting to drink beer, minority students enrolling in college, women demanding equal pay, and everything in between. She knew of the imperfection of American democracy and strove to ensure Americans weren’t limited by factors they couldn’t change – gender, race, and so forth.

We mourn the loss of Ginsburg as not only an American committed to the country’s founding ideals, but also as a gender-equality giant who tirelessly worked to dismantle systems of oppression that held both men and women to unfair standards. In addition to gender equality, many of her cases revolved around the First Amendment, the very piece of legislation that allows The Tower to operate in its full capacity and carry on our tradition of excellence for so long.

Ginsburg devoted herself to student publications and made history in the process. One of only nine female students in her 500-person class, Ginsburg became the first woman in the country to serve on two major law reviews – those of Harvard College and Columbia University, respectively. Furthermore, she co-founded The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, a Rutgers University periodical focused on the intersection of women and public policy and later saved it from extinction from a basement on Rutgers’ campus.

Her notable friendship with ideological counterpart Justice Antonin Scalia furthered her reputation as one who knew how to maintain both her political prowess and mutual respect for the man behind the opinion. We at The Tower grapple with our position as a news organization and understand how delicate this balance can be. In the last decade, we’ve held front row seats to the corrosive impact of this framework on society. Through demonizing, demeaning and silencing, the society we live in has reached a point where disagreement is perpetually framed as heretical, dehumanizing or treasonous and every interaction with others is risky. If nothing else, Ginsburg can be admired for her ability to transcend politics for decent human conversation and relation.

Ginsburg once said, “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” We strive to lead under this motto by speaking out, reporting honest and accurate information, and providing consistent coverage to our audience. The ideals we hold so dear can be embodied by the woman Ginsburg was and the legacy she provides. Hers is an example for our generation and generations to come.