Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1993 to 2020, the second woman to occupy this prestigious position in the highest court of the land.
Five Facts about Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The first-ever Jewish woman to have been appointed to the Supreme Court
Graduated as the top of her class but struggled to find a job in a law firm due to workplace gender discrimination
Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton
Close friends with the late Justice Antonin Scalia despite having conflicting political views
Built a reputation as a “great dissenter” in the Supreme Court
Inspirational Quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg
"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time."
"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
"I'm a very strong believer in listening and learning from others."
"Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true."
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Biography
She was the younger of two children, and lost her sister Marilyn to meningitis at the age of six. Tragically, her mother also passed away from cancer just before Ruth graduated high school.
Husband and Children
She met Martin, a fellow student at Cornell, and they married in 1954. They had a daughter Jane, and a son, James. Martin went on to become a successful tax attorney, and remained supportive of her work.
After Harvard, she completed her legal education at Columbia Law School, graduating at the top of her class in 1959. However, she had trouble finding a job since she was female, and a mother. It was during the 1970s that she became professionally involved with matters of gender equality and discrimination.
Mission and Work
She was clear in her approach, joining hands with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to write legal briefs in two federal cases. Reed vs Reed was the first case which brought the equal protection clause into the limelight.
Her work at the ACLU continued when she became the founding counsel for their Women’s Rights Project. At this time, she coauthored a book on gender discrimination.
At the Columbia Law School, she became the first female tenured faculty member, contributing many Supreme Court briefs on gender discrimination. She argued and won five out of six cases before the Supreme Court. In 1993, she was nominated to replace a retiring Justice at the Supreme Court.
During the Obama years (2009-2017), she became known for her feminist and progressive views. She continued to garner admiration from well-wishers and critics for dedication to her work despite failing health and personal setbacks. She continued to fight for her beliefs, becoming the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. She was awarded the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture for her contributions to social justice and general equality.
Legacy (died September 18, 2020)
Known for her moderate and liberal perspectives, she will be remembered as a fierce proponent of gender equality, and a “tireless and resolute champion of justice”.
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