Why We Should All Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

Why We Should All Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

Who was the Notorious RBG?

The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg the second female Supreme Court Justice, and the first Jewish female Supreme Court Justice.  Back when she first studied law in the 1940s, it was more common a priority for women to pursue marriage than a law degree.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg ‘made law review at Harvard in 1959.  Yet, she still had a difficult time finding work after her graduation from Columba Law School and Harvard Law School.  Eventually, Judge Edmund L Palmieri hired her as a clerk.  She began to work with people who had sex discrimination complaints, referred to her by the American Civil Liberties Union.

RBG saw a parallel between the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for gender equality.  She was an avid supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

She helped found the Women’s Rights Project.  In the case of General Electric Co vs Gilbert, she helped end the workplace discrimination facing pregnant women.  It is, according to her, the same as sex discrimination.

Known for her advocacy on the reproductive right to end a pregnancy, lesser known is her work in the 1970s to end enforced sterilization, particularly of poor women in the  southern states of the US.  She helped found the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project in response to this enforced sterilization.

There was also a law that prevented women from working on navy ships.  She and the Women’s Right’s Project challenge this law in the case of Beeman vs Middendorf.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to Supreme Court Justice in 1993.  There, she fought for the workers’ rights of pregnant women.  She worked on intersectional issues, such as race and poverty that affects some women, as well.  Equal access to education for women was also important to her, her career, and now her legacy.

Concern for Justice

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg grew up as a Jewish girl during the Second World War.  Her parents were immigrants who had to leave the old country, because being Jewish in Europe was dangerous.  Even in the United States, RBG had to face discrimination, as seen by her quote to Senator Edward Kennedy here:

Senator Kennedy, I am alert to discrimination.  I grew up during World War II in a Jewish family.  I have memories as a child, even before the war, of being in a car with my parents and passing a place in Pennsylvania], a resort with a sign out in front that read: “No dogs or Jews allowed.” Signs of that kind existed in this country during my childhood.  One couldn’t help but be sensitive to discrimination living as a Jew in America at the time of World War II.

Supreme Court Justice RBG feels that the Jewish tradition of justice goes back even before the pogroms of Europe.  In fact, in the entirety of Jewish tradition, there is a demand for justice, as seen by her quote here:

I am a judge born, raised, and proud of being a Jew.  The demand for justice runs through the entirety of Jewish tradition.  I hope, in my years on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will have the strength and the courage to remain constant in the service of that demand.

What happens now?

Well, may she rest in peace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left us.  There are dolls that look like the notorious RBG that are available in the United States for children to inspire them.

Now it is up to President Trump to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice, though some argue that he should be constrained as President Obama was in the last year of his presidency from nominating a Supreme Court Justice.  President Trump has selected Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee.  She would be the youngest Supreme Court Justice if she gets approved.  She is also a staunch Social Conservative, especially when compared to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She emphasizes gun rights, as opposed to reproductive rights.

And, personally, I don’t feel that we as women should end a pregnancy unless our lives are endangered.  I side far more with Amy Coney Barrett, compared to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but I cannot deny the accomplishments of the latter.  Of course, I’m looking more forward to Amy Coney Barrett’s rulings on gun rights and the rights of the unborn.

Further reading:
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