Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1993. On Sep. 18, she died from pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was first diagnosed in 2009. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Ginsburg had an older sister who died when she was little, and her mother died soon before she graduated from high school. After graduating high school, she attended Cornell University where she received her bachelor’s degree. After graduating from Cornell, she married Martin Ginsburg and became a mother before attending Harvard Law School. She then transferred to Columbia Law School and graduated jointly first in class. Ginsburg then became a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, being one of few females there teaching civil procedure.
Most of her legal career was spent advocating for gender equality and women’s rights. Ginsburg won many arguments before serving on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg advocated as a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, while also being one of its members and its general counselor in the 1970’s. President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980, and she served until she was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton where she was seen as a moderate consensus-builder. She was the first Jewish woman, also the second woman, to serve on the Supreme Court.
Tomkio Brown-Nagin wrote in a statement to The Harvard Gazette, “Personal setbacks animated her quest for social justice. She memorably summed up the connection between her personal losses and her public life at a Federal Judicial Center conference that I attended years ago. Profound challenges — the loss of her mother the day before she graduated from high school, her husband’s struggle with cancer while they were both in law school — fueled her fierce determination to accomplish her dreams and achieve justice for others. ’I wasn’t going to just sit in the corner and cry,’ I recall Ginsburg defiantly noting during her talk. Those words have stuck with me all these years. Ginsburg’s refusal to crumble into a heap of defeat is a defining and inspiring part of her legacy.”
Nagin spoke of her strength and dedication to not letting anything set her back in life. Ginsburg will forever be remembered in history for her fights for gender equality and women’s rights. She was a notable character in the history of the Supreme Court.