September 20, 2020

EDITORIAL | Like Justice Ginsburg ’54 did for us, Leave the Doors You Open Ajar for Others to Pass Through

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In today’s Sun, you will read two pieces — one from our University president, and the other from the dean of Cornell’s law school — honouring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54. As students, we, too, hope to add to this conversation.

One of the Justice’s greatest qualities was her ability not just to open doors for herself, but to leave them open for those after her. There are many spaces of government, of society, of Cornell and of our own lives where doors remain shut. The one choice we all have is to pry those doors open, and honor her by holding them for others to pass through.

There is little new that can be said about her legacy. Instead, what is important is to remind campus of the immense opportunity that Ginsburg afforded every Cornellian. Many of us, when we were accepted to Cornell, were greeted by none other than Ginsburg herself, in the first welcome video. She has opened the door for every student on this campus to follow in her legacy – charging as an activist of her time, so that future Cornellians could build upon the change she catalyzed.

Those who will continue her legacy are normal students. In RBG’s time at Cornell, although she excelled as an academic, she was a real person. She worked in student governance, met her husband and experienced life on The Hill in a way that all of us do every day — she even wrote a letter to the editor in her time as an undergraduate. Ginsburg was irreplaceable as a human being. But it is entirely possible to attempt to walk proudly in her footsteps.

So in the words of Ginsburg herself, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

The above editorial reflects the opinions of The Cornell Daily Sun. Editorials are penned collaboratively between the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor and Opinion Editor, in consultation with additional Sun editors and staffers. The Sun’s editorials are independent of its news coverage, other columnists and advertisers.