What Was So Special About Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

What Was So Special About Ruth Bader Ginsburg?


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a legal luminary whose impact reverberated far beyond the courtroom, left an indelible mark on American jurisprudence. Born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsburg's journey from a determined law student to the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court is a testament to her resilience and commitment to justice.

Early Life and Education

Growing up in a working-class neighborhood, Ginsburg faced early challenges that fueled her determination to succeed. Despite facing gender-based discrimination, she excelled academically. Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School, where she faced gender bias but emerged as the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

Legal Career Beginnings

Ginsburg's legal career began with academia, teaching law at Rutgers University and later at Columbia Law School. Her involvement in groundbreaking gender discrimination cases, including Reed v. Reed, laid the foundation for her lifelong commitment to dismantling gender-based legal barriers.

Championing Gender Equality

As a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Ginsburg strategically chose cases that challenged discriminatory statutes, often representing male plaintiffs to highlight the unjust treatment of both genders. The landmark case of Frontiero v. Richardson, where Ginsburg argued against gender-based military benefits, marked a pivotal moment in her pursuit of gender equality.

Appointment to the Supreme Court

In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, making her the second female justice in history. Her confirmation hearings highlighted her sharp legal mind and unwavering commitment to equal protection under the law.

Notable Opinions and Dissents

During her tenure on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg authored significant opinions, often dissenting in cases where she believed the majority opinion fell short of protecting individual rights. Notably, her dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. led to legislative changes in equal pay protections.

Collaboration with Scalia

Despite ideological differences, Ginsburg developed an unlikely friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia. This bipartisan camaraderie emphasized the importance of civil discourse and collegiality within the judiciary.

Personal Challenges

Ginsburg's journey was not without personal challenges. Battling cancer multiple times, she continued to work tirelessly, demonstrating unmatched dedication to her role as a Supreme Court justice.

Cultural Impact

Ginsburg's cultural impact extended beyond her legal accomplishments. The 'Notorious RBG' moniker, coined in homage to her, became a symbol of strength and resilience, inspiring a new generation to pursue justice.

Legacy and Recognition

Throughout her career, Ginsburg received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her legacy endures in legal circles, with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Foundation continuing her work in promoting gender equality and justice.

Impact on Future Generations

Ginsburg's influence on aspiring lawyers is immeasurable. Her commitment to justice and equality serves as a beacon for those seeking to make a positive impact in the legal field.

Memorials and Tributes

Following her passing in 2020, memorials and tributes poured in from around the world. Events commemorating her life and contributions underscored the profound impact she had on society.

Reflections on the Judicial System

Ginsburg's reflections on the judiciary's role in societal progress emphasized the need for a fair and impartial legal system. Her contributions to legal philosophy continue to shape discussions on justice.

Public Response to Ginsburg's Passing

The public response to Ginsburg's passing was unprecedented. Emotional tributes and expressions of gratitude flooded social media, highlighting the profound impact she had on individuals across the globe.


In conclusion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life was marked by extraordinary achievements, resilience in the face of adversity, and an unwavering commitment to justice. Her legacy transcends the legal realm, inspiring generations to come. As we reflect on her contributions, let us carry forward the torch of justice and equality she lit, ensuring that her pioneering spirit endures.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What were Ruth Bader Ginsburg's most significant achievements?
    • Ginsburg's landmark achievements include her work on gender equality, her appointment to the Supreme Court, and her impactful written opinions.
  2. How did Ginsburg's collaboration with Justice Scalia impact the Supreme Court?
    • Despite ideological differences, Ginsburg and Scalia's friendship emphasized the importance of civil discourse and collegiality within the judiciary.
  3. What is the 'Notorious RBG' phenomenon?
    • The 'Notorious RBG' became a cultural symbol, representing Ginsburg's strength and resilience, inspiring a new generation to pursue justice.
  4. How did Ginsburg's personal challenges affect her career?
    • Despite battling cancer multiple times, Ginsburg continued to work tirelessly, showcasing unmatched dedication to her role as a Supreme Court justice.
  5. What is the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Foundation, and what is its mission?
    • The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Foundation continues Ginsburg's work in promoting gender equality and justice, carrying forward her impactful legacy.


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