NCL statement on the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sept. 21, 2020

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay,, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling,, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) joins the nation in mourning the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg’s pioneering career as an attorney fighting gender discrimination in the 1960s and 70s, challenging norms about what women in the workplace “could or could not do,” and as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice serves as an example to Americans. In her 27 years on the Court, Justice Ginsburg championed the rights of women’s reproductive freedom, the right to form a union, and to be protected from marketplace abuses and promoted affirmative action, environmental regulations, and reasonable restrictions on guns.

Dubbed “the Notorious RBG,” the Justice became an icon for young women across America as a small-in-stature but a towering voice for rights and protections for women and People of Color. She worked out daily with a personal trainer, lifting weights and stretching; she fought off five bouts of cancer.

Though she was the mother of feminist jurisprudence, she was not a rigid ideologue. During a mock court case of the 1908 Muller vs. Oregon event at the Supreme Court, over which she presided, Ginsburg noted that the litigants in the 100-year-old case—including NCL’s Florence Kelley and Boston lawyer Louis Brandeis—who argued that laws saying women could not be forced to work more than 60 hours a week were not sexist. Having the law apply to only women was their “entering wedge” and the only opportunity to set maximum hours laws, Justice Ginsburg noted. Men went on to gain the same protections during the next decade.

Justice Ginsburg could be seen welcoming visitors to the Court and was especially gracious to those being sworn into the Supreme Court bar, an honor available to any lawyer in good standing who has a Supreme Court bar member to introduce them at special sessions held Court.

The National Consumers League is deeply saddened by the loss of such a powerful force on the Supreme Court of the United States. Her sense of justice and her influence on the Court won’t easily be replicated.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit