The Life and Legacy of RBG
By Lily Bertles' 22, Amanda Edge' 22, Catherine Onorato' 22, Lucy Palma' 23, and Mira Henry' 24
With the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it’s important for our community to honor her legacy. Ginsburg was a trailblazer for women in law who, throughout her career, tirelessly advocated for equality on all fronts, specifically women’s rights.
Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg jumped through many
hurdles throughout her career, specifically during law school, when she was chastised by her peers for ‘taking a man’s spot’. Despite the sexism she faced, Ginsburg ultimately graduated at the top of her class from Harvard Law School and went on to clerk for the U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri; a job she took after being rejected from many other law firms on the basis of her gender despite her overwhelming qualifications. Next, Ginsburg went on to be a professor at both Rutgers and Columbia Universities, becoming the first woman to be tenured at Columbia. As time went on, Ginsburg grew to be more active in women’s rights initiatives as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. In this position, she successfully argued six landmark cases before the Supreme Court, before being appointed to the Supreme Court herself by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Catherine and Amanda: Justice Ginsburg not only had an impact on those in the law field but on women everywhere. More specifically, she has been a role model to us from a young age; we have looked to her success and tireless efforts for equality as well as her courage to stand up for women and marjanalized communities nationwide at a time when it was not socially acceptable. As young activists and feminists ourselves, Ginsburg has shown us that change is attainable and our efforts for equality will not go unnoticed if we persevere. Without her leadership and example, it would’ve been much more challenging to find the courage to stand up for ourselves for the injustices we face as women in our society. Justice Ginsburg’s legacy will live on through powerful women across the country, whose opportunities have multiplied because of her work.
Lily: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneer in the women’s rights movement and an inspiration to all. Her legacy will live on through the lives of women and girls who now have more rights under the law thanks to her. Her hard work and dedication to equality has led to numerous landmark cases. Throughout the 1970s, she brought cases to the supreme court fighting for equal rights. She eventually persuaded an all-male bench to include sex-based discrimination into the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. During her 27 years as a supreme court justice, she always ruled in favor of equality. Thanks to her I, as a woman, have way more legal rights and opportunities than women did before RBG and the Women’s Liberation movement. She was truly a feminist icon and someone who will never be forgotten.
Lucy: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has opened so many doors for me and all women in our country. She has created job opportunities for me that I would not have had access to without her impact in the courts. Not only has RBG opened doors for me when it comes to job opportunities, but she has also helped create equal pay between men and women in the workplace. Ruth Bader Ginsburg often talks about the only time she will be satisfied with the number of women on the Supreme Court is when there are nine. Oftentimes when people hear that they are shocked and question why she would say that, when in actuality there have been nine men on the Supreme Court and no one thinks anything of it. That is an example of how RBG has changed the way our society sees gender equality and has opened many opportunities for young girls like me all around the world.