Who was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a loving wifemother, and a pioneer that shaped the modern world for all women. She was born on March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York during World War 2. As a Jewish girl, she had to persevere through racism from a young age. Her parents were hard workers and huge idols in Ginsburg’s life. Her mother especially instilled a love of education in her daughter. Ginsburg once said, “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” Her mother passed when she was young, but her wisdom stuck with the Justice forever. 

Ginsburg started her law education at Cornell University. There, she met and wed Martin D. Ginsburg. She had said that her husband “was the first guy I ever dated who cared that I had a brain.” They settled down together and had a baby. 

She graduated from Cornell at the top of her class. However, her husband was then drafted into the military in 1954. Ruth Ginsburg had to put her education on pause to raise their child while Martin D. Ginsburg was away. 

He returned two years later and RBG continued law at Harvard with her husband. She was one of the only 9 females at that school and was extremely discriminated against. The other women and she were not allowed in the library. The Harvard dean would tell the women every day that they were taking a man’s spot in the school. On top of all that, Martin was diagnosed with cancer in their first year. She had to tackle her schooling and motherhood all at the same time.  

Despite the opposition, she became the first female on Harvard Law Review. In the end, she was denied a degree despite her outstanding academics. Her husband did graduate however, and they moved to New York. Martin got a job as a lawyer and RBG transferred to Columbia. 

After Ginsburg graduated from Columbia, she struggled to find employment. Not many people would willingly hire a woman at the timeIn the end, one of her professors refused to recommend any other graduate to U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri until he agreed to hire Ginsburg.  

Ruth Bader Ginsburg worked as a clerk for the Judge with a significantly lower salary than her male counterparts for two yearsGinsburg left her job in hopes to experience new law practices and joined the Columbia Project on International Civil Procedure. She journeyed to Sweden where she wrote her book Civil Procedure in Sweden. 

When she returned home, she began to teach at Rutgers University Law School. She worked there until 1972 and then she taught at Columbia until 1980. During her teachings, she led the Women’s Right Project. Ginsburg argued seven cases in front of the Supreme Court and won six of them including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act which made it illegal to fire a woman for being pregnant or wanting to be pregnant. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg onto the U.S. Courts of AppealsThirteen years later, she was appointed on the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton. During her time on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg fought many cases but her most famous ones were Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Virginia. 

On September 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complication of pancreatic cancer. Justice Samuel A. Alito said after her death that“Justice Ginsburg will go down as a leading figure in the history of the Court. She will be remembered for her intelligence, learning, and remarkable fortitude. She has been and will continue to be an inspiration for many.” May her memory be a blessing.