Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is photographed in the East conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Aug., 30, 2013.
Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty

9 powerful Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become, especially in recent years, a liberal hero and feminist icon as she has spoken out on reproductive rights, women’s equality,  same-sex marriage and other issues. Here, we look back on some of Ginsburg’s most famous quotes over the course of her long legal and judicial career. And tune in to msnbc Monday at 9 p.m. ET to watch our exclusive interview with Ginsburg. 

RELATED: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on abortion, race and the broken Congress

1. On same-sex marriage and the law: “You’re saying, no, state marriage [is] the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage.”

In a 2013 Supreme Court hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, Ginsburg used this metaphor to describe her view of how the state was treating same-sex couples under DOMA.

2. “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

In a 2001 interview with ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr, Ginsburg described what she thought it would take for women to be fully equal to men: For men to take on an equal share of child-rearing responsibilities.

3. “I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling. If you impose restraints, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex…. The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality.”

At her Senate confirmation hearings in 1993, Ginsburg was asked to state her position on whether men and women had equal rights in decisions on abortion. She came out firmly on the side of a woman’s right to choose. 

4. “Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that changed their abortion laws before Roe are not going to change back. So we have a policy that only affects poor women, and it can never be otherwise.”

In a 2009 interview with The New York Times, Ginsburg was asked what she’d want to accomplish most if she were a lawyer again and responded that her top priority would be fighting for women’s reproductive rights. 

5. “If there was one decision I would overrule, it would be Citizens United. I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

When asked in an interview about the worst ruling the Supreme Court ever produced, she didn’t hold back naming the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision that allowed for unlimited corporate political donations.

6. “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

After the Supreme Court gutted a major section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Ginsburg called the decision “hubris” in a strongly worded dissent.

7. “So now the perception is, yes, women are here to stay. And when I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court]? And I say when there are nine, people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

In an interview during the 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference, Ginsburg said she hoped for an all-female Supreme Court someday, adding that she felt “lonely” when she was the only woman on the bench.

8. “In recent years, people have said, ‘This is the way I am.’ And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor–we’re very fond of them or it’s our child’s best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that ‘this is who I am,’ the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.”

Ginsburg said in a recent interview that America is ready for a pro-marriage equality Supreme Court ruling, saying it would “not take a large adjustment” for people to accept it.

9. “My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.”

Ginsburg’s mother, Celia Bader, provided a strong role model for Ginsburg growing up, taking her to libraries and emphasizing the importance of education. Ginsburg cited her mother’s push for her to be independent as a big influence in her career. 

Want more Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Tune in to The Rachel Maddow Show tonight at 9 pm ET to watch her interview with msnbc’s Irin Carmon. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Supreme Court

9 powerful Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes