Ruth Bader Ginsberg: A Justice Not Forgotten

Staff Writer: Grace Cohen

Ruth Bader Ginsberg served as a Supreme Court Justice for 26 years following her nomination from Bill Clinton in 1993. In those two and a half decades, she worked to fight gender inequality and provide her opinion on the multitudes of cases that were viewed by the Supreme Court. Ginsberg faced many health problems in her later years, having and defeating both colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, before passing away on Sept. 18 at the age of 87. 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. Often being described as well-educated and bright early on in childhood. Her mother, Celia Bader, had to give up a college education for her brother to attend instead. This motivated her to make sure Ruth was able to pursue a college education for herself. This proved to be a success with Ginsberg attending Cornell University and eventually both Harvard and Columbia University, two Ivy League schools.

Photo Credit: Photo Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
Ruth Bader Ginsberg poses for the official Supreme Court portrait in 2016 which marked her twenty-third year as a Supreme Court Justice.

During her time at Harvard, Ginsberg faced many accounts of discrimination based on her gender that contributed to her drive to fight for gender equality under the law. She became the first woman to be on two major law reviews, the Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review, drawing attention to her efforts. She spent her career advocating for laws to protect the people from discrimination based on gender and spent her time campaigning for other protections for minorities in America. Ruth co-founded the Women’s Rights Project in 1973 alongside working a several cases that paved the road for equal opportunity for all under the Constitution. 

Logan Steinbach, a WHS junior, discussed the significance of her work under the law on America, saying, “I think that she was an important role model for so many people and advocated for the rights of minorities that she wasn’t even a part of. People need to take a page from her book and fight for those who need their rights protected, just like she did. Her empathy towards others drove her practice of law that should always be remembered.”

Photo Credit: Shana Wilson
 Ruth Bader Ginsburg was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1996 while on her third year as a Supreme Court Justice. Becoming the second woman to hold a position as a judge in the Supreme Court, Ginsburg played a pivotal role in fighting for gender equality.

After becoming an established lawyer, Ginsberg worked as a professor at Rutgers Law School from 1963-1972 where she received her tenure. After, she became a professor at Columbia Law School until 1980 when she received and accepted the nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals by Jimmy Carter in 1980. Ginsberg served as a judge on this court until 1993 when she was nominated by Bill Clinton to become a new Supreme Court Justice and upon accepting, served as a Justice for 26 years until her death.

Casey Moryl, a senior at Woodstock, believes the most important thing to remember about Ginsberg’s work is that, “She opened so many doors for women and fought for those who needed to be treated as equal. I think the important thing to remember is that the person to replace her should fight for the same things: equality, justice, and compassion for the people of the United States.”

Despite many obstacles in her path towards success and equality, Ginsberg fought without fail to fight for her rights and the rights of others as people and American citizens. Her death leaves a vacancy in the Supreme Court that will be filled sometime in the upcoming months after a nomination by the President and the confirmation by the Senate. 

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