Ruth Bader Ginsberg worked tirelessly throughout her career fighting for gender equality and women’s rights.
In 1960 she was rejected for a Supreme Court clerkship position because of her gender.
She was hired as a professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963 but was informed she would be paid less than her colleagues because she had a husband with a well-paid job. She later went on to receive tenure from the school in 1969.
In 1970 she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the U.S. to focus exclusively on women’s rights.
In 1972, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU and became one of the Project’s general counsel. The project participated in more than 300 gender discrimination cases by 1974. She herself argued 6 gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court between 1973 and 1976, winning 5 of them.
She said her mission in the 1970s was to eliminate all of the overt gender based classifications, as the law books, and laws throughout the country were riddled with them.
She became the first tenured woman at Columbia Law School in 1980.
She was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 96-3.
In 2018, she expressed her support for the Me Too movement, saying “It’s about time. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of the women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.”
She said as society has changed, the Court decisions have changed as well when ruling on outdated laws to better reflect the current lives of citizens. She also believes that unconscious bias still remains, though less than it once was, but is still there and it is an impediment to women.
A few of her quotes from over the years:
- “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”
- “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
- “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”
We thank Justice Ginsberg for her service and all her contributions.
May she rest in peace, and may we serve her legacy with passion and conviction.