September 18th 2020, one of the most notable advocates for women’s rights and gender equality in the Supreme Court passed at age 87 from pancreatic cancer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, after Sandra Day O’Conner, was the second woman with a presence on the U.S. Supreme Court. Notorious RBG trailblazing women empowerment in a continually sexist climate is what made her such a phenomenal feminist idol.
The way that she paved the way for women to work in law is something that we can’t forget. That’s why in this article, we want to commemorate her memory in the hopes that we can spread her story and empower more women with it in the process. Here is more about Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“I don’t say women’s rights—I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.”-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Harvard Law School
In 1956, RBG was one of only nine females in a class with around 500 men. That goes to show how little the patriarchy has been willing to let women into the field of law. Back then, it was more taboo for women to enter what was considered “male” professions.
The dean of her school even invited all nine women over to dinner at his home to ask them why they were taking up spots in the school that belonged to men. To think that anyone thought it was acceptable to ever be that sexist towards women, what a disgrace.
In addition to going to studying on her own for law school, she also had to raise her daughter that she had with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. Both her and Marty were in law school. But he couldn’t attend classes as much because, at the time, he had to go in for cancer treatments.
So she would take breaks from studying to play with her daughter (and son shortly after), which might seem like a double shift in itself. But she also put a ton of effort into helping her husband succeed in law school. She got notes from his friends, rewrote them for Marty, and helped him study.
She would stay up almost all night, getting barely any sleep, taking care of children, and going to school for both her and her husband.
“A gender line… helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.”-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
So by now, it’s pretty clear that RBG was one very empowered woman. She took on so much and excelled at being a mother, a female law student in an incredibly sexist climate, and by 1960, it was time for her to start her career.
Ginsburg applied for a Supreme Court clerkship position. Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court Justice at the time, rejected her from this position because of her gender. Thankfully, there’s poetic justice in the fact that she eventually became an associate Supreme Court Justice herself in 1993 when Clinton nominated her.
A Lasting Legacy
Ginsburg had one of the most memorable tenures on the Supreme Court in modern history. Not a lot of Justices want to stand up for the rights of women, disabled people, voters, Native Americans, and many more, but she always did. And when a bad decision has been made, she would never go with the flow. She would dissent, and always in a most articulate and passionate manner.
She’s also found a strong cult following in young liberals, which continues to this day. Her nickname “Notorious RBG,” after the great rapper Notorious B.I.G, is actually a pretty apt comparison. Ginsburg was a badass, and never let anyone else stand in her way.
A lot of merchandise is still sold in her likeness, including bobbleheads, kitchen magnets, children’s books and coffee mugs. Two movies have been made about her, including a documentary called RBG, and a dramatization called On the Basis of Sex. As well as many humorous depictions in properties like Saturday Night Live, Deadpool 2, The Lego Movie 2, New Girl, The Good Place, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and so on.
RGB has gone down in history as one of the most powerful women, and one of the most powerful Jewish women, in our time. She created a long legacy that will never be infringed.
Not even 24 hours after Ginsburg’s death, Mitch McConnell started repugnantly pushing for Trump to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice before the end of his term.
What is seriously wrong with this is that McConnell was proud of himself for not letting Obama instate a new Supreme Court Justice in 2016 when there was another vacancy. He denied Obama his presidential right to choose a replacement. And yet, he pushed for Trump to select a replacement before the next election.
It should go without saying that Mitch McConnell has created a crisis. The Supreme Court was always intended as a bipartisan failsafe. Ginsburg’s long friendship with Antonin Scalia is strong evidence of this. But through the illegitimate confirmations of Gorsuch and Barrett, it has become a dangerous weapon for the GOP. The only way out is for Democrats to take a stand and pack the court, and considering how they’ve failed to prevent this, it’s going to be very hard for us to force them to work.
One of RBG’s dying wishes is that no one would be chosen to fill her position until after the next presidential election. But clearly, McConnell has a bigoted agenda of his own- whether it be against the Democratic party, against women, or both.
Either way, the absence of Ginsburg is this world is a wound to all of us. We must honor all that she has done to empower females. And we must be on the right side of history, for the battles to come.
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