Life and Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


provided by Ted Eytan, Gale Blog

Street Memorial to Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the Supreme Court.

Pancreatic cancer wasn’t the only hard battle that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought during her lifetime. The “Notorious RBG” fought for gender equality under the law throughout her entire life.
Justice Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her family was Jewish, and Ginsburg continued to practice throughout her life. Celia Bader, Ginsburg’s mother, taught her the value of a good education and independence. She was a huge role model for her. Celia’s early death pushed Ginsburg to work harder in her studies.
While Ginsburg was in college, her husband, Martin Ginsburg, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. This left Justice Ginsburg to take care of her toddler and her husband, all while attending classes. She also worked to keep her husband up to date with his studies. Despite this, she graduated at the top of her class in a male-dominated school.
She began her legal fight for women’s rights by representing Sally Reed in Reed vs. Reed. This case eliminated an Idaho code stating that “males must be preferred to females” when appointing administrators of estates.
Among other cases, Ginsburg fought to open an all-boys Virginia school, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), to women as well. She stated that women “would make VMI a better place” and that VMI “failed to show exceedingly persuasive justification” for it’s sex-based admissions policies. Ginsburg argued that the policies violated the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court found that it was unconstitutional in a 7-1 ruling. VMI is now open to both men and women.
Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. As a Supreme Court Justice, she worked to open doors for women and eliminate gender discrimination under the law. She is known for her relentless work for equal pay, reproductive rights, and gender discrimination. Justice Ginsburg passed away on September 18 after battling pancreatic cancer for 11 years.