By Robin Wright ’22
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died Friday, September 18, at 87 years old. It was her long battle with Metastatic Pancreatic cancer, which she had suffered since 1999, that eventually claimed her life. She was the second woman ever elected to the Supreme Court and an important figure in women’s liberation. Her loss was felt across both party lines.
She attended Harvard Law School, which is impressive because women becoming so highly educated was a novel concept at the time she attended. After graduation, she had trouble finding work because of her gender and became a professor at Columbia and Rutgers Law schools. Academia did not suit her and she eventually became a practicing lawyer.
As a lawyer, she fought ardently for gender equality and women’s rights, arguing many times before the Supreme Court, most famously in Roe v. Wade case that protected a woman’s right to an abortion. Her growing fame and acclaim led her to become a member of the American Civil Liberties union and justice for the U.S Court of Appeals.
At 60 years old, Ginsberg was appointed as a Supreme Court Justice in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. She initially was identified as a moderate but veered to the left as the justices became more conservative.
During her tenure, she held staunchly stereotypical liberal views, and she continued to make court rulings to the lives less spoken for. Some noteworthy decisions of Ginsberg include United States v. Virginia which shut down the last exclusively male school in the country, Bush v. Gore, in which she actually disagreed with the majority opinion and wished to continue the recount of ballots, and Obergefell v. Hodges which granted same-sex couples the right to marry. She eventually became the oldest person to ever serve on the Supreme Court.
She was in a position of great power and autonomy and used it for good with the convictions she carried throughout her entire life, which makes both Democratic and Republicans revere this icon. Regardless of her bipartisan appeal, there is stirring controversy about whether a Republican justice will replace her before the coming election. This controversy is unfortunate as it takes away from her lifetime of service we should be celebrating and mourning.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg will live on in people’s memory as a hero and fighter for all.