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Pop culture icon, feminist, equalist, lawyer, teacher, sports enthusiast, wife, mother, and grandmother, are just a few of the many words that can be used to describe the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

After serving on the Supreme Court bench for 27 years, Ginsburg died last Friday night at her home in Washington DC following complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.

While hundreds of people across the country have flocked to the Supreme Court to pay their last respects, thousands more have taken to social media to celebrate the late judicial leader's achievements.

"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time," said Ruth Bader Ginsburg...and change she did. Below are just a few of the history-changing moments Ruth Bader Ginsburg made in her lifetime. 

  1. Battled gender discrimination while achieving academic excellence at the country’s most prestigious law schools

After graduating top of her class at Cornell, RBG attended Harvard Law School, where she made it onto the prestigious Harvard Law Review after overcoming hostilities in the male-dominated classroom. To join her husband in New York City, Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she again graduated first in her class and was elected to the school’s law review. Despite these outstanding achievements, Ginsburg encountered gender discrimination when searching for employment, providing the spark in her fight for women’s equality. 

  1. Achieved milestones as a law school professor

As a professor at Rutgers University, Ginsburg was denied equal pay on the account that she had a husband who had a well-paying job. On the basis of the Equal Pay Act that passed in the same year of her employment, Ginsburg filed a complaint and won. Later on, Ginsburg also became the first female tenured professor at Columbia University.

  1. Co-Founder of the Women’s Rights Project at ACLU

As a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Ginsburg helped lead the Women’s Rights Project, which brought sex- discrimination cases to her. 

  1. Argued and won major Supreme Court Cases on a variety of major issues

After being appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993, RBG became part of the moderate- liberal bloc of the bench and advocated for many issues, including gender discrimination, abortion, and fair wages. For example, in the case of the United States v. Virginia (1993), RBG challenged the Virginia Military Institute in its admissions ban against women. Olmstead v. L.C. (1999) prompted a victory for the rights of people fighting to work despite a disability. In the case of Obergefell v Hodges (2015), RBG championed for the rights of same-sex couples to have their marriages recognized by their state governments. A year later in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedy (2016), RBG helped lead the Supreme Court in striking down the H.B.2 Texas law which so heavily regulated the ability of a woman to seek an abortion. 

  1. First justice to officiate a same-sex marriage

Two years before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, Ginsburg officiated the first union between Kennedy Center President Michael Kaise and John Roberts.

She was a woman ahead of her time in all regards. There will be a reason for any person to appreciate the strides she made to make the US a place where the ‘we’ in the Constitution has “expanded and expanded."

Maria Kulapurathazhe is currently a student at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, pursuing a degree in Biomolecular Science and a minor in Journalism. Passionate about current research in the medical field today, Maria loves to share the information she finds in writing. Outside of academics, Maria loves catching up on Indian movies, watching old USWNT games, playing badminton, and hanging out with her friends and family in the city.
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