On September 18th, the news reported that Ruth Bader Ginsberg, everyone’s favorite justice of the Supreme Court, had passed away at the age of 87. Despite her declining health that had always been made public, the nation was still both shocked and moved by this devastating announcement. RBG was one of the biggest icons for women and advocates of gender equality, as she spent her trailblazing career fighting for women’s rights. The legacy she left behind is one that no one will be forgetting, as she lived her life leveling the playing field for women everywhere. The appointing of RBG as justice of the Supreme Court might have been one of the best things to happen to women of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ginsberg began her career as a professor at Rutgers University School of Law back in 1963, when men still dominated the field, making it almost impossible for her to land a job as a lawyer for a firm. She transferred to the Columbia University School of Law in 1972, where she became the first woman hired with tenure at the establishment. She always voiced that she enjoyed her time spent teaching, feeling as though she was molding the young minds that will lead us into a better future.
"I do think that I was born under a very bright star," Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview last year. https://t.co/BROHRdwppc
— NPR (@NPR) September 19, 2020
In 1973 Ginsberg joined the General Council for ACLU. She helped co-found the Council’s Women’s Rights Project and proceeded to take part in around 300 sex discrimination cases. RBG strove to prove to the council justices that gender discrimination not only made zero sense but was also wrong. During her time on the General Council, she and her team were able to achieve equal preference in estate disputes for both men and women. They were able to persuade the court that it was unconstitutional to have a different set of standards for military spousal benefits for men and women. They fought and achieved the right for widowers to have Social Security benefits after a legal spouse’s death, instead of the right solely applying to widows. And in her final days spent with the Council, she used her position to make it easier for women like herself, to serve on juries.
Her time ended with ACLU in 1980 when she started as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She spent several years in this position before she finally made it to the Supreme Court. On August 10th of 1993, she began her career as a Supreme Court justice, filling in the seat that had been held by her predecessor, Justice Byron White. Since then, she has used her platform to double down on women’s rights laws. She had fiercely fought in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case in 2014, which argued that for-profit companies were able to deny, for religious purposes, the mandate to have birth control covered in healthcare plans. This case was the cause of controversy throughout the United States, as women felt it was unfair that these companies were covering non-essentials such as Viagra for men, but not granting women with the same courtesy. She also continuously took pro-LGBTQ+ stances during her time serving, always fighting for and siding with the community when cases pertained to them arose. And to top off her magnificent life, one of the best things she was well known for was her controversial views on abortion, titling herself as pro-choice, and fighting for women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, despite how many fought her, never stopped fighting for others. She spent her career arguing in favor of equality when no one else was brave enough to do so, and for that, we thank her. Her legacy will live on, and the fight will not stop with her.