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Gratitude for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the phenomenal women for whom she paved the way

In today’s rapid news cycle, with so many critical issues making headlines every day, it’s easy to let matters of consequence go by without comment. I don’t want that to be the case for a woman who made possible the life that I and most women in America today enjoy.

We often take for granted the things that we have become familiar with. Sometimes these things were hard-won by those who came before us. Simple but powerful things like having credit cards and signing for home and car loans independent from husbands or fathers weren’t even possible for women until the mid-1970s.

That all changed thanks to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a practicing attorney in 1971, she wrote the brief for the Supreme Court case Reed vs. Reed, a landmark case that led to the revision of hundreds of federal laws that discriminated against women purely on the basis of sex and led to the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.

Imagine where animal welfare and the no-kill movement would be today without the independent women of every political stripe who have driven our lifesaving cause, and maybe where it would be today if it hadn’t taken until 1974 for a woman to be able to have her own credit card.

Ginsburg was a brilliant jurist who could not accept injustice. She was also a consensus builder; one of her best friends on the court was Antonin Scalia. They were on opposite sides of virtually every decision, but their mutual respect — and a shared love of opera — formed the basis for an unlikely and enduring friendship.

In 2018, I had the incredible privilege of being named among a list of women who “show up, speak up, and get things done” in whatever personal and professional spaces they choose to occupy. Among those women were giants like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jane Goodall. There was so much kindness, strength and passion represented in that list.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was indeed a badass and certainly a woman who showed up, spoke up and got things done. I am so grateful to stand on her shoulders and be able to accomplish things for the animals that would have been impossible for me to do 50 years ago.

Rest in peace, RBG.

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Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society Julie Castle
CEO
Best Friends Animal Society