“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg(RBG), a feminist icon, a supreme court justice, and a women’s rights activist, died at age of 87 on September 18, 2020, after serving for 27 years of her life in bringing justice and security to American lives.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg built herself a legacy that will last for generations to come. Initially enrolled in Harvard Law School and transferred to Columbia Law School, she became the first woman to be on two major law reviews: the Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review.
In spite of the difficulties in finding employment, due to gender inequality, RBG became the first tenured female professor at Columbia Law School before moving on to the U.S. Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court.
She worked alongside the American Civil Liberties Union which spearheaded numerous cases of sex discrimination and challenged gender-biased laws. In addition to the battles she fought for gender equality and social justice, Ginsburg was also recognized for her fierce and clearly thought out dissents. Even when Ginsburg was in the minority, her decisions shone through and made it clear that she was passionate about her job.
A Few Memorable Contributions
The United States v. Virginia
The supreme court and ultimately Ginsburg ruled that the Virginia Military Institute, which only allowed men to be admitted was unconstitutional. Ginsburg argued that the school was violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This was a major victory for Ginsburg and American women.
Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Ginsburg's fierce dissent from the bench to protect Lilly Ledbetter from discriminatory practices and pay disparities against the Supreme court decision, brought about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Ginsburg ensured fair practices in Corporate America.
Beating cancer for over a period of 20 years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a fighter; for people, for women, for minorities, and for cancer. "Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.", were Justice Ginsburg's words and her legacy will inspire many women to rise above the glass ceiling.
Totenberg, Nina. “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87.” NPR, NPR, 18 Sept. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/09/18/100306972/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-champion-of-gender-equality-dies-at-87.
Liptak, Adam (February 10, 2010). "Kagan Says Her Path to Supreme Court Was Made Smoother by Ginsburg's". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
Pinsker, Joe. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Transformed Americans' Personal Lives.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 23 Sept. 2020, www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/09/ruth-bader-ginsburg-legacy/616447/.
MartyCNBC1. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Biggest Cases: Equal Pay, Bush v. Gore and Insider Trading.” CNBC, CNBC, 19 Sept. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/09/18/ruth-bader-ginsburg-biggest-cases.html.