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On September 18th, 2020 we lost the powerful and notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She continues to be an inspiration to many women, even in death. Her career was widely successful, shattering the glass ceiling for many. Ginsburg successfully combated gender discrimination, graduating college at Cornell University in 1954, top of her class, going on to study at Harvard Law. Harvard was male-dominated, there were only eight other women who graduated with her out of 500. Through the aggressively male class, she was able to prevail, not only doing law school for herself but for her husband as well, who fell ill to testicular cancer. Even though she graduated top of her class and had an impressive academic record, that was not enough in the 1960s – no one wanted to hire a woman. Ginsberg was able to get a job as a clerk under Judge Palmieri, and eventually, she became the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure. During that time she directed the influential Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties, she was able to challenge gender discrimination and successfully argue six cases in front of the US Supreme Court. From there former President Jimmy Carter nominated her for the Supreme Court in the 1980s. She was able to take her spot and was sworn in on August 10, 1993, by former President Bill Clinton. 

During her time in the Supreme Court, she continually advocated for women’s rights. She had a slow and steady but calculated style, she did not try to eliminate discrimination and gender limitations, she would just attack specific areas one at a time. A huge accomplishment of hers was when she wrote the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v Virginia, where she supported Virginia and not allowing the military to refuse admission to women. She was able to unify the liberal block of the court. Ginsberg wanted the power of social change to remain in Congress and just have the court guide congress. She had no problem guiding congress when she felt was needed, and was a powerhouse when advocating on the bench. She has a long history of her time on the bench making so many positive moves towards gender equality, and continually advocated for women’s rights until the day she died.  Her legacy lives on today, she made a huge footprint in America’s Supreme Court and no one can erase her distinguished career. Although Ginsburg’s death did not come as much of a shock, since she had pancreatic and colon cancer, she kept fighting to stay on the bench until another democratic president came in and could replace her with someone who could continue her legacy, and make extraordinary leaps to equality. Many people were devastated when former President Trump filled her spot with Amy Coney Barrett, a person who has a history of not fighting for equal rights for all, and some of her beliefs directly contradict what Ginsburg had been bravely fighting for years. Now after losing Ginsburg, women’s abortion rights are under direct attack, and unfortunately, many Americans do not have faith without the wonderful Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Although she may be gone, her spirit continues to give women the strength to continue the long hard fight towards women’s rights.

Alexis Velasco

Northern Arizona '23

I'm Alexis (she/they) and I am currently attending Northern Arizona University and studying journalism and political science. I have a deep passion for politics and getting others involved. I hope with joining Her Campus I can have a creative outlet and have peers to work alongside with.
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