SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left an impact on many people. She was the second woman to be a Supreme Court justice, blazing a trail for those who have followed her.
Ginsburg will be remembered as an advocate.
“It started with gender equality and then with the LGBTQ movement and then also with racial equality. She was always just making sure that everyone had their voices heard,” Sioux Falls attorney Nicole Griese said.
“She lived every day trying to just make this place a better place, moving the country forward, so that it would be a better place for her children and her grandchildren,” U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier said.
“That’s what leaving a legacy is. It’s not about money. It’s not about what you have. It’s what you’ve done for other people,” Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith said.
U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier first met Ginsburg at a reception for newly-appointed federal judges.
“She also sent me a letter immediately after I was appointed as a judge congratulating me. Most recently, last year I had my 20th anniversary as a federal judge and my law clerks wrote to her and told her it was happening and she sent me a dubai, which is a lace collar, to wear as a gift to commemorate the fact that I hit 20 years,” Schreier said.
Sioux Falls attorney Nicole Greise says she remembers being inspired by Ginsburg at a young age.
“I just always liked that she could disagree with people but not be disagreeable. So I just always looked up to her from what I could remember,” Greise said.
Greise also got the chance to meet Ginsburg for a brief moment during an event at the University of Minnesota Law School.
“Just even that 30 seconds, minute, that I got to spend with her, I’ll always cherish that,” Greise said.
Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith remembers being an undergraduate student when Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court.
“At that time, I was a paralegal major and so seeing her being sworn in and hearing everything that she was saying before the Senate, I changed my major to political science to go to law school,” Smith said.
Ginsburg leaves behind a legacy that impacts the world.
“She was a trailblazer. She was a brilliant mind. She was a huge advocate. She was very honest and well thought out in her arguments. Politics aside, I think everyone could say that,” Greise said.
“There’s still so much work to be done. I liked that she paved the way for women to where we can do what we do and our daughters and granddaughters can do what we do,” Smith said.
“I think she would want to be remembered as someone who, in anyway possible, even if it was a small way, she would try to move things forward in a positive way,” Schreier said.
KELOLAND News also talked with USD Knudson School of Law Dean Neil Fulton about the impact Ginsburg had on the field of law and the next steps for filling her seat. You’ll hear from him on Sunday.