Tributes Pour in for Justice Ginsburg

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Image credit: Supreme Court of the United States)

Washington communications players and top government officials from both sides of the aisle were weighing in late Friday (Sept. 18) on the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died of pancreatic cancer at age 87.

Motion Picture Association Chairman Charles Rivkin, who was sworn in by Ginsburg when he was named ambassador to France, said she exemplified "the best in America."

"In her life and her career, she was a champion for equality, a fierce defender of free speech, and a passionate supporter of the arts," he said. "Justice Ginsburg was also a towering figure in the world of copyright, where she authored important and eloquent opinions championing the rights of creators. Her copyright legacy lives on through her wonderful daughter Jane, one of the world’s leading intellectual property scholars."

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"While her life has been celebrated on screen in films like RBG and On the Basis of Sex, her true legacy is inspiring all creators to tell their own stories," he said.

“All of us at ACA Connects are so saddened to learn of the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," said ACA Connects President Matt Polka. "Her life stands as a testament to the rule of law and the fight for equality. Her strong voice and indomitable spirit will be missed. We thank her for her service to our nation, and we wish her family peace in their time of grief.”

“On behalf of the Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," said Attorney General William Barr, a former Verizon executive. "Justice Ginsburg led one of the great lives in the history of American law.  She was a brilliant and successful litigator, an admired court of appeals judge, and a profoundly influential Supreme Court Justice. For all her achievements in those roles, she will perhaps be remembered most for inspiring women in the legal profession and beyond. She and I did not agree on every issue, but her legal ability, personal integrity, and determination were beyond doubt.  She leaves a towering legacy, and all who seek justice mourn her loss.”  

“The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a bookend to an honorable and magnificent career, although her impact on our nation is everlasting," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "Her dedication and achievements in upholding the rule of law and her passionate pursuit of justice and equality for all Americans cannot be overstated. Our hearts go out to her family and the nation as we grieve her loss.”

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was quick to announce that he would push for a vote for a replacement for Ginsburg ASAP, reportedly with the blessing of Donald Trump, the President praised Ginsburg in a statement.

"Renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one’s colleagues or different points of view," said the President. "Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds."

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg dedicated her life to the law.... She will be remembered as one of the most consequential Supreme Court Justices in our nation’s history. She served the Court with distinction, and earned the respect of the nation," said Sen. John Bardasso (R-Wyo.).

“America weeps, but what an extraordinary life Justice Ginsburg led," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). "Becky and I mourn with Justice Ginsburg’s family and the American people.”

“Lawyers fight for justice, but few lived and breathed that fight like Justice Ginsburg did her entire career," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). "Her dedication to our country’s values and ideals is an example for every American. The best way we can honor her memory is to continue her fight.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.