Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s extensive involvement on Environmental Issues as Supreme Court Justice

by Sudhit Rao

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the eldest Supreme Court Justice recently passed away at the hands of pancreatic cancer. Appointed as Supreme Court Justice in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton, she is popular for her work on gender equality. In addition to that, she has a long-lasting record of voting on cases regarding climate change and the environment. 

In 2011, she was part of the unanimous decision to protect power companies from lawsuits from the state or private companies in American Electric Power Co. Inc. v. Connecticut. She previously voted to allow the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Act in Massachusetts vs EPA, in 2007. She stated, “The Act itself thus provides a means to seek limits on emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic power plants—the same relief the plaintiffs seek by invoking federal common law.”

Gina McCarthy, a well-known expert on environmental health and air quality and former EPA administrator, praises Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She says, “Through her expansive mind, sound temperament and unwavering judicial integrity, she plied the Constitution as a living instrument of American life, lending it meaning in the life of us all.” 

In addition to being a firm believer in the threat of climate change, she has also praised young Swedish Activist Greta Thunberg as one of the future leaders in the fight against climate change. She is keen on encouraging and spreading awareness amongst the younger generation, saying “The young people that I see are fired up, and they want our country to be what it should be. One of the things that makes me an optimist is young people.”

Ginsberg’s stay as Supreme Court Justice will not only be remembered for her work on gender issues, but also for fighting against climate change. She has truly been revolutionary and her legacy will be remembered for years to come.