Ruth Bader Gingburg will go down in history as one of the most significant women’s rights and gender equality pioneers the world ever saw.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsburg – Ruth Joan Bader at the time – was raised in a working class environment under the principle that education was a privilege and something that should not be taken for granted. She graduated from James Madison High School in 1950 and Cornell University in 1954 – at the very top of her class, no less.
Married right out of college, Ginsburg fell pregnant while her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, was deployed. After his return, both Ruth and Martin enrolled at Harvard Law School. Ginsburg then transferred to Columbia Law School and graduated in 1959 – again, at the top of her class.
From 1959 to 1961 she clerked for U.S District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri and went on to teach at Rutgers University Law School. She was appointed as director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 70s and argued several gender equality cases before the U.S Supreme Court.
In 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the U.S Supreme Court, becoming the courts second female justice – and first female Jewish justice.
Justice Ginsburg was a landmark advocate for gender equality, worker’s rights, and the separation of church and state. She made decisions on historic cases such as the United States vs. Virginia case in 1996 – which demanded Virginia Military Institute allow the admission of women – or Reed v. Reed in 1971 where Ginsburg successfully argued to apply the Equal Protection Clause to a law that was gender discriminatory.
Throughout her life, Ginsburg argued over 300 cases on gender discrimination on the counsel of the ACLU, served 27 years as a U.S Supreme Court justice, and wrote seven books. She fought tirelessly for the entirety of her adulthood for equal rights among both men and women alike.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell victim to metastatic pancreas cancer on Sept 18.
Her legacy will never be forgotten, and her efforts will not be in vain. Ginsburg forever serves as a symbol of perseverance and determination. Her iconic feminism will continue to motivate little girls and boys to fight for what they believe in, and shows them that anything is possible if they put forth the effort. Ginsburg gave a voice to the unheard, and for that she will be remembered.
This will be Addie Palmquist’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.