Read a PDF of our statement here.

Tonight, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the most consequential figures in American law and democracy. We must, first and foremost, lift up the extraordinary contributions of Justice Ginsburg as a lawyer and a justice. Every woman in this country owes her an enormous debt, and every American has benefitted from her work to clarify the meaning of equality in our country. She was a powerful member of that exemplary group of lawyers who helped give real meaning to the words etched onto the exterior of the Supreme Court: ‘equal justice under law.’

“One of the things I love about Justice Ginsburg is that when she was lauded and described as a courageous pioneer, she was always careful to say that she regarded Thurgood Marshall as the lawyer who exhibited true courage because he litigated cases where he had to fear for his own life and safety.

“LDF will push to ensure that her life and work is given the attention and celebration it deserves. We will also fight to ensure that this President and Senate are unable to fill her seat on the Court prior to November’s election. We have little confidence that either the President or the Senate Majority Leader will adhere to the decency and norms that would dictate restraint from seeking to nominate and confirm another justice. But we believe that there are members of the Senate who will choose this moment to stand up, finally, for what is right and proper in a democracy. They must allow the American people to decide and insist that this seat remain open until after the next president is inaugurated.”


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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