Retired Winnebago Co. Judge Rosemary Collins reacts to death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has sent shock waves across the nation and right here in the stateline.

Retired 17th Judicial Circuit Judge Rosemary Collins, the first woman to hold the position, said she is still coming to terms with the solemn news.

“I am heartbroken,” said Judge Collins. “She was a principle jurist, one of the great leaders of our time.”

Retired Winnebago County Judge Rosemary Collins, like many in the nation, was left shaken by the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday evening. Justice Ginsburg played an important role in Judge Collins’, not just career path, but life.

“She came from humble beginnings and through the sheer force of her intellect and will, she got all the way up to the Supreme Court,” said Judge Collins. “And she never forgot what she stood for. She stood for gender equality. She stood for the principle all are created equal and she very cleverly, disciplined, crafted her life to make sure that she left the world a better place and she did.”

Judge Collins said the late Justice Ginsburg helped make the dream of going into law a reality for her and all women.

“I became the first woman justice to serve in this area and I broke an over 100 year old glass ceiling, so we’ve come a long way since then,” said Judge Collins. “We have a lot of women jurists now. Women are in over 50% of our law schools now.”

Justice Ginsburg’s legacy is one Judge Collins said she will hold close.

“I’m grateful that I had a chance to see somebody like that and to see somebody operate like she did,” said Judge Collins. “So, we’re all better because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I’m just going to miss her so much and we, as a county, I think, in the years to come, will grow to appreciate even more the outstanding legacy that she has left.”

Judge Collins retired from the bench in December of 2018.

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