On Sept. 18, 2020, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away due to metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. She served over 27 years as a Justice on the Supreme Court and has a legal record that has helped grant equality to everyone. For her, however, it was not that easy.
Ginsburg graduated at the top of her class from Cornell in 1954. Two years later, she became one of nine women, out of a class of 500, to graduate from Harvard Law School. Even with her impressive education, Ginsburg had trouble landing a job. After searching for a long time, she finally got a job as a professor at Rutgers University and became the second woman to do so. During this time, she co-founded the Women’ Rights Law Reporter law journal that still runs today.
Also during her time as a professor, she fought for the same benefits given to men for her and her colleagues, which began a long line of sex-based discrimination cases that she fought for. Her strategy was to get winnable cases to set legal precedents and use them to further the cause. In fact, before she became a Justice, she argued six cases in front of the Supreme Court and won five of them.
In 1993, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton and became the second woman, and the first Jewish person, to serve on the Supreme Court. She fought for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, undocumented persons, and disabled people, while also expanding voting rights. During her service, she earned the name “The Great Dissenter” for her fiery and impassioned writings when her fellow Judges passed decisions that she found to be regressive.
The replacement judge that has been nominated by President Trump is Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is a Seventh Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals. She attended, and also teaches at, the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she graduated at the top of her class. She also served under Justice Antonin Scalia, who also was Justice on the Supreme Court for 30 years. Her nomination has become more than a replacement, as she would be a tipping point for Conservatives to have a majority on the bench. Due to the upcoming election, it may be cutting it close if she is finally admitted to the Supreme Court and the end of the election.