Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg peacefully passes at 87

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Rizlin Jew '22

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September at the age of 87.

Andrei Lynch , Technology Editor

On Sept. 18, the world lost Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or  “Notorious RBG,” to metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87. She died in her home in Washington, DC with her family beside her.

After her death, her casket was “lying in state” in the Capitol Rotunda, the first woman and first person of Jewish heritage to be given this high honor. 

 

Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933, in a low-income, working-class family in  Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, she looked up to her mother who taught her the need for independence and education. 

She later went to Harvard law school in 1956, but Harvard was a man’s world. She fought along with other women in her class to succeed. 

She graduated from Columbia law school in 1959. In the 70s, she joined the ACLU as the Director of Women’s rights. She was appointed to the Supreme court by Former President Bill Clinton in 1993.

 

 

 

While on the court, she was a moderate liberal judge. She was a strong advocate for women’s rights and separation of church and state.  She was great friends with Antonin Scalia who was on the other side of the aisle.

Nicole Morello, Global Ethnic Studies teacher, recalled a famous case of RBG’s, saying, “I would say, the United States vs. Virginia, stating that qualified women could not be denied admission to Virginia Military Institute, because, before her, state-funded schools did not have to admit women.” 

Now the battle is waging in the Capital as to whom will fill her seat. On September 26 President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barett.  The immediate debate was not on Barrett’s qualifications, but the timing, as it was only a few weeks before the presidential election. 

In 2016, Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia and SCOTUS was without a ninth judge for nearly a year. Despite the GOP’s insistence that a new Supreme Court judge should not be appointed during an election year, they are pushing Trump’s nomination through. On October 27, Amy Comey Barett was accepted into the Supreme court. 

Coral Shafer ’21 said, “RBG was and continues to be an inspiration to girls around the world. She was a pioneer in her field. Being one of only nine female students at Harvard Law School, she paved the way for many women to pursue any career they wished. Despite her setbacks, she continuously fought for women’s rights co-founding the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU.”

Shafer added, “In her time as a Supreme Court judge, she continuously advocated for women’s rights and human rights in general. Even on her deathbed, she fought for women’s rights. She is a tremendously important woman with an incomparable legacy. She truly is an inspiration.”