The demure fire band, champion of the race and gender equality, civil rights hero, and overall, a legal, cultural, and feminist symbol – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dubbed as the Notorious RBG for her fierceness as a key justice on the nation’s highest court, has passed away at the age of 87, on September 18, 2020.
The Supreme Court announced the death of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a pioneering lawyer for women equality pursuits, who died last Friday at her house in Washington, D.C. as she drew her last breath surrounded by her family. The death of the major pop icon was said to be due to complications in relation to her metastatic cancer of the pancreas. Prior to her medical condition involving the pancreas, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has suffered several other illnesses, including fighting colon cancer in 1999, beating early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2010, receiving coronary stent in order to clear a blocked artery in 2014, and just recently, two small tumors that were found in one of her lungs, which were discovered in December of 2018 during a checkup for broken ribs due to a recent fall.
The death of Justice Ruth Ginsburg is grieved by the nation, by which citizens have gathered near the steps of The Supreme Court to honor and respect Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the person who has contributed significantly to the American jurisprudence and has paved the way for women’s rights.
Graduating with highest honors from the Cornell University in 20014, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg studied at Harvard Law School. She shifted to Columbia Law School, where she graduated at the top of the class. On top of that, she made it to Law Review in both the Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School; however, despite graduating with outstanding credentials and academic achievements, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had difficulty getting accepted into the male-dominated and gender-biased field of the law profession. In fact, she was initially recommended for a Supreme Court clerkship but was never even interviewed for the position. With the help of the recommendation of a mentor, law professor Gerald Gunther, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was able to be accepted into a clerkship, and thus begin her legal career as a Law Clerk under the Honorable Judge Edmund Palmieri. The process by which she was able to get accepted into the clerkship was elaborate as they had to insist that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would not be diverted by her “familial obligations” as they expect. Later on, it was found that her clerkship under Justice Palmieri was a success that which she stayed to work with him for two years from 1959 to 1961, which is a year longer than the usual clerkship offered.
The legal career of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is built upon the pursuit of justice, particular with regards to elimination gender-based stereotyping in legislation and regulations, which immensely helped the women of the society to contribute largely and be able to receive fairer treatment. Through the years of service and pioneering women equality pursuits, she has established herself in the male-predominated profession. She has become the second woman, in 212 years, to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court. She was appointed by President William Clinton as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1993, where she continued to strive for women’s rights.
In 2014, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg mentioned in an interview how the years of being the solitary female justice as there was a time where she was the only woman on The Supreme Court, following the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in January of 2006, were “the worst times”. Fortunately, she was eventually joined by two other women – Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – who were appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 and 2012, respectively.
“The image to the public entering the courtroom was eight men, of a certain size, and then this little woman sitting to the side. That was not a good image for the public to see,” said U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Among her most remarkable contributions to the society was the revolutionary changes she brought as a litigator and strategist in the legal status of women. She has put great efforts into putting the fight for women’s right into courts, which led to her legal crusade of pursuing gender equality. Among one of the numerous cases she has delivered, she wrote the court’s 7-1 opinion, in 1996, on the declaration of the change in The Virginia Military Institute, in which women will no longer be excluded to the rigorous demand of the VMI, such that they could meet those demands.
Some of her inspiring works also include her first big case, which involved challenging a law to bring justice to Charles Moritz, a Colorado man who was only taking a tax deduction for the care of his 89-year-old mother. Previously, the Internal Revenue Service and the law stated that the deduction could only be claimed by women or widowed or divorced men; however, Mortiz fit in neither of the categories. With his husband, Marty Ginsburg, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took on the case from the constitutional perspective and her husband from the tax perspective. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully won in the lower courts, to which her husband said she did so “amazingly,”
Those laws, Marty Ginsburg, added, “were the statutes that my wife then litigated … to overturn over the next decade.”
That first big win for U.S. Supreme Court Association Justice Ruth Ginsburg was one that made the court strike down a state law in recognition of its discrimination and bias based on gender. This occurrence was just the beginning of the milestones that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made, as she actively fought for justice and women’s rights.
Truly, the nation has lost an exemplary public justice server.