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I write this tribute today with a heavy heart, mourning the champion of women, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Born in Brooklyn on March 15, 1933, and passed on September 18, 2020 the notorious RBG will live on in all women as a legend for women’s right and gender equality. Ruth conquered many first in her life and many first for women in America. She taught at Rutgers University Law School and then at Columbia University where she became its first female tenured professor, among many other firsts. 

“She served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s, and was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980.” (HISTORY.COM) 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg never gave up and continued to fight for gender equality and was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by Bill Clinton. She was only the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court in American history, the first was Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appointed in 1981 and served 24 years. She was a key swing vote in the upholding of Roe v. Wade. 

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In Ruth’s early years she graduated first in her class from Cornell University, yet another first that she accomplished, paving the way for female students to come after her. Shortly after her time at Cornell, she married aspiring lawyer Martin D. Ginsburg. They had their first child, and Martin was drafted and served in the military for two years. This made it hard on Ruth to raise her first child alone during that time.  Following his service, both Ruth and Martin attended Harvard Law school, but their experiences were anything but similar. In a class of 500 students, there were eight women, one of them being Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She experienced an extreme amount of sexism, prejudice, and disrespect as a female student at Harvard Law. All of the eight women that attended Harvard Law that semester were asked why they deserved their spot over a man, a question that Ruth would not take lying down. She replied sarcastically by saying her husband was a law student and that a wife should understand her husband’s work.  

In 1956, Ruth’s husband contracted testicular cancer, where Ruth cared for him at home, raised their first child, attended her own law classes, and attended and took notes for Martin at his law classes. After his recovery, Ruth transferred to Columbia Law and yet again was first in her graduating class, further blazing the trail for women in academia to follow after her. Despite her groundbreaking academic accomplishments, after graduating Ginsburg was faced with gender discrimination when looking for a job at a law firm in New York City.  

“After clerking for U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri, she taught at Rutgers University Law School (1963-72) and at Columbia (1972-80), where she became the school’s first female tenured professor.” (HISTORY.COM) 

During the 1970’s Ginsburg also served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she fought and won six landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. These wins would go on the be the foundation of gender equality for all Americans and gave a back bone to the feminist movement of the 1970s. 

[bf_image id="q57fss-2u484w-1rbcz8"] Her legacy lives on as the second female of all time to hold one of the highest positions of our nation as a Supreme Court Justice, and we will never forget her tenacity and endless efforts to correct the justice system in fighting for gender equality. In one of Ginsburg’s most memorable moments, she used the term “I dissent” in her opinion in the case of Bush v. Gore, where she was arguably the deciding factor of the 2000 presidential election.  

Along with her unforgettable crusade for gender equality and work towards women’s rights, her marriage will be remembered as one for young women and men to appreciate. As Justice Ginsburg stated in reference to her husband, [he was] “the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain.” (HISTORY.COM)  

After 27 years serving as a Justice on the Supreme Court and honing the title as the Notorious RBG, she will not be forgotten. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Womankind thanks you for your service. 

Kathryn Andes

Sacred Heart '21

Hi! I'm Kathryn, I'm majoring in Communications with a focus in Journalism, and minoring in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. I sing in the SHU choir, I'm the President of College Democrats at Sacred Heart, and I'm a global ambassador for the Office of Global Affairs. I love writing about fashion, beauty, life, and politics, and Her Campus gives me a great platform to do that!
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