Following the one-year anniversary of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on September 18, 2021, we remember her lifelong commitment to women’s right and social justice. She was the Supreme Court’s second female appointee and sat on the bench for 27 years, from 1993 till her death in 2011. Keep reading to learn all about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg received her law title from Columbia University’s School of Law and went on to become an outspoken champion for women’s equality in the courts and for the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and in 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court.
Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15, 1933. Nathan and Celia Bader’s second child, she was raised in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, a poor, working-class area. Ginsburg learned independence and a solid education from her mother, who was a significant influence in her life.
Celia didn’t go to college, but she worked at a garment factory to help pay for her brother’s schooling, and Ginsburg was deeply moved by her generosity. Ginsburg was a hard worker and an excellent student while attending Brooklyn’s James Madison High School. Sadly, Ginsburg’s mother battled illness for most of her high school years and passed on the day before she graduated.
In 1954, Ginsburg finished first in her group from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in administration. That same year, she got married to her fellow law student Martin D. Ginsburg. As their first child, Jane was born soon after Martin was recruited into the military in 1954, the couple’s early years were difficult. Both Ginsburg and Ginsburg returned to Harvard after serving their country for two years each.
It was at Harvard that Ginsburg learned to manage her dual roles as a working mom and an aspiring lawyer. She also had to deal with a hostile atmosphere dominated by men, since she was one of just eight females in a class of more than 500. The head of the law school chastised the women for filling the positions of competent men with less suitable applicants. However, Ginsburg persisted and ultimately became the first female member of the esteemed Harvard Law Review, a distinction she has to this day.
In 1956, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer. While caring for her small daughter and ailing husband, Ginsburg went to her own legal education, taking notes for her husband in class. Martin made a full recovery, completed law school, and was hired by a New York City legal firm.
After a battle with cancer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s husband died on June 27, 2010. The only young guy she dated who noticed that she had a brain was Martin, she said. When Ginsburg and Martin married 56 years ago, their relationship was considered to be unique: Martin was outgoing and enjoyed entertaining and telling jokes, while Ginsburg was solemn and reserved.
Martin cited his and his wife’s mutual lack of guidance in cooking and the law as a factor for their happy marriage. She went to work in the Court for the final day of the 2010 term the day following her husband’s death.
Ginsburg moved to Columbia Law School to be closer to her spouse, and she was chosen to the school’s law review as a result. She was the best student in her group when she graduated in 1959. Gender discrimination continued to be an issue for Ginsburg after college, despite her stellar academic record.
From 1959 to 1961, Ginsburg worked as a law clerk for United States District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri. From 1963 to 1972, she was a lecturer at Rutgers University School of Law, then at Columbia University School of Law from 1972 to 1980. Her time as head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project, which she led in the 1970s, saw her take on the U.S. Supreme Court on six major issues involving gender equality at that time.
The Supreme Court’s chief justice did think, however, that the legislation was non-discriminatory and all people were empowered to have equal security under the law. As a result of her victories in five instances before the Supreme Court, a section of the Social Security Act favored women over males by providing some benefits only to widows.
President Carter elected Ginsburg to the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980, and she had served there till the end. In 1993, President Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by Justice Byron White. To cope with the Court’s more conservative members, President Clinton sought a successor with both intellectual ability and political clout.
Despite some senators’ displeasure with Ginsburg’s opaque responses to hypothetical scenarios, the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings were surprisingly cordial. Others questioned how she’d manage the shift from being a social activist to a Supreme Court Justice. A final 96–3 vote in the Senate voted in her favor.
According to Ginsburg’s judicial philosophy, prudence, moderation, and restraint were all virtues she valued. She was regarded as a member of the court’s moderate-liberal wing, and she spoke out strongly in support of issues like gender equality, worker’s rights, and keeping religion and state apart. In the United States v. Virginia, Ginsburg penned the Supreme Court’s seminal judgment, which ruled that the state-sponsored Virginia Military Institute couldn’t really refuse to accept women on the basis of gender. She received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association in 1999 for her work on behalf of civil rights and gender equality.
Despite her reputation as a reserved writer, her dissenting opinion in Bush v. Gore, a case that determined the 2000 presidential campaign involving George W. Bush and Al Gore, garnered her a great deal of attention. When Ginsburg dissented from the court’s majority judgment, she used the words “I dissent” to end her conclusion, a notable break from the court’s custom of using the term “respectfully.”
Ginsburg voted with the majority in two significant decisions of the Supreme Court in 2015. In King v. Burwell, she was one of six justices who ruled in favor of a key provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare. Regardless of whether they are run by states or the federal government, the ruling enables the federal government to keep paying subsidies to Americans who buy health insurance via “exchanges.”
With Chief Justice John Roberts reading the majority opinion, President Barack Obama scored a significant win that will make repealing the Affordable Care Act difficult. Among the conservative justices on the Court were Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, as well as Antonin Scalia, the latter of whom delivered the Court’s most pointed dissension.
Obergefell v. Hodges, a 5–4 majority judgment, legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states on June 26. This was the Supreme Court’s second historic judgment in as many days. With her outspoken support for the same-sex marriage concept in previous years, Ginsburg is widely seen as having played a key role in the judgment. She also challenged arguments against the notion during the case’s early stages. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan joined her in the decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts reading the opposing opinion.
Remarkable in recent years is the fact that Ginsburg vocally opposed Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, labeling him a “faker” and then apologized for his comments on the campaign. 84-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made clear in January 2018 that she had no intention of stepping down by hiring a full staff of clerks until 2020, despite the president releasing a list of prospective justices to replace the court’s aging membership.
Justice Kennedy, who frequently agreed with the court’s Democratic majority, announced his retirement in late July, raising the question of whether Ginsburg would be able to remain on for at least another five years.
Moreover recently, For the very first time throughout her 25 years on the bench, Ginsburg made the news by delivering the majority decision in an important case in April of this year. A section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that permitted the deportation of any foreign person guilty of a “crime of violence” was thrown down in the judgment for Sessions v. Dimaya, drawing attention to conservative Neil Gorsuch’s choice to side with his liberal colleagues. Ginsburg delegated opinion writing to Elena Kagan since she was the most senior member of the panel.
Ginsburg’s, My Own Words, was published in 2016 and contains writings from her junior high school times. A New York Times best-seller, the book soared to new heights.
Ginsburg made an appearance with the documentary RBG at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2018. Speaking of #MeToo, she remembered having to deal with unwanted approaches from a Cornell University professor years ago. As for Kate McKinnon’s depiction of her on Saturday Night Live, she gave it her stamp of approval by joking, “I would really like to say ‘Ginsburned’ occasionally to my coworkers.
According to Ginsburg, the #MeToo movement’s “staying power” would help it withstand a backlash, which she discussed in an interview with Columbia University’s Poppy Harlow in February. The free press, as well as an independent judiciary, have both come under attack under Trump’s administration, and she supported them both.
Focus Features and Magnolia Pictures are joining together to rerelease On the Basis of Sex and the Oscar-nominated documentary RBG in theatres as a homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life.
Both biographies are about the iconic U.S. Supreme Court justice, who died on September 18 at the age of 87.
After being elected to the court, Ginsburg’s health took a turn for the worse. She had surgery for cancers of the colon, pancreas, and lungs. In November of last year, she fractured three ribs after collapsing in her workplace.
During the coronavirus pandemic in May of 2020, the Supreme Court was forced to hear proceedings via teleconference for perhaps the first time, and it was revealed that the senior judge had been hospitalized again for gallbladder disease and was undergoing nonsurgical treatment.
After a relapse of cancer in her liver surfaced in July 2020, Ginsburg said she was receiving treatment for it and was “producing good outcomes.”
After a long battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer, Ginsburg passed away peacefully on September 18th, 2020, in her residence in Washington, D.C.
In a statement, Roberts stated, “Our country has lost a judge of historic significance.” “The Supreme Court has suffered the loss of a dear friend. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a relentless and determined advocate of justice. We grieve her passing today, but we are certain that coming generations will remember her as we did.
On the 25th of September, Ginsburg was put to rest in Washington, D.C. She will be just the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. On the 23rd and 24th of September, Ginsburg was also put to rest in the Supreme Court.
With her appointment, Ginsburg joined the court for the first time as a woman and as a Jew. As a Supreme Court justice, Ginsburg represented the moderate-liberal wing of the court, advocating for issues such as gender equality, workers’ rights, and the division of religion and state.
President Ronald Reagan nominated and appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, where she served until 2006.
Ginsburg learned independence and a solid education from her mother, who was a significant influence in her life. Rather than go to college, Cecelia worked in a garment factory to pay for her brother’s school instead, a selfless gesture that had a lasting impression on Ruth Bader Ginsburg today.
As it is a legal duty for lawyers to treat judges with respect, lawyers who appear before the Supreme Court, High Courts, or Subordinate Courts should address them as “Your Honour,” “Hon’ble Court,” or any other form of “Honor,” as appropriate.
Assets are included on disclosure forms, but dollar quantities for each account are not specified, making it difficult to calculate Ginsburg’s net worth precisely. It’s easy to estimate her net worth by looking at the asset ranges she included in her 2019 financial disclosure report.
Ginsburg’s net worth was assessed to be between $3.95 million and $9.22 million based on the value of the assets reported in her most recent filings.
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive bio on Ruth Bader Ginsburg and were inspired by her courage and will to stand up for her beliefs and morals. To learn more about other notable personalities, keep reading Seema.