Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy Lives On
By Tiffany Pettigrew
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, September 18, 2020, surrounded by her family in her Washington D.C. home at the age of 87.
The feminist icon’s death is preceded by a 27-year long career on the SCOTUS fighting for equality. From the chants on the streets during the civil rights movements, a revolutionary ruling on Roe v. Wade and a continuous fighting spirit for the LGBTQIA+ community. Ginsburg leaves behind a legacy for generations to live up to so every voice is heard.
After graduating from Cornell University, RBG married Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, the two moved to Fort Sill, Okla., for Marty’s military career. Though being college educated, RBG could not find a job outside of being a typist, a job she would lose upon finding out she was pregnant. After their time in Okla., the Ginsburg’s attended Harvard Law School.
RBG was one of nine women in a class of 500 students while attending Harvard. Throughout her time at law school, she was regularly questioned why she was there and told her placement should go to a man. During her time at Harvard, RBG showed that she was meant to be a lawyer. She managed being a mom to a toddler, caring for a husband with testicular cancer who was going in and out of surgeries and being towards the top of her class.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s first big case was based here in Colorado. Charles Mortiz claimed a tax deduction for the caregiver cost of his mother. The IRS did not allow this deduction being Mortiz was not a woman or had not ever been married. These standards deemed Mortiz unfit to be a caregiver and ineligible for the deduction. Both Martin and Ruther Bader Ginsburg worked on the case, Martin from the tax angle and RBG from the constitutional angle.
This started RBG’s iconic fight for gender equality, fighting for what was constitutionally correct, regardless of gender. Her hard work defending gender equality was getting recognized. In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be on the SCOTUS. The US Senate voted to confirm her nomination in a final count of 96-3, making her the second woman to serve in this role.
Being the first ever Jewish female to serve on the Supreme Court, RBG was a trailblazer for fighting for human rights for all. In her 27 years of service, Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for Americans, regardless of age, gender, background, or ethnicity are able to have the same opportunities.
SCOTUS rulings that Ruther Bader Ginsburg voted on included:
United States v. Virginia, 1996- a 7-1 ruling determined that Virginia Military Institute’s male only admission policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Olmstead v. L.C., 1999- This decision was a historical step for disability rights after two women with mental illnesses continued to be institutionalized after medical professionals stated they were able to continue their treatment in a community-based program.
Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 2007- In a 5-4 decision, the court determined that a 19-year career, gender based, pay discrimination was in violation of 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Many citizens are anxious to hear the Senate’s reaction to the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. This only four years after the Senate argued Former President Barack Obama could not select the next SCOTUS Justice due to election day being 293 days away.
The Senate has decided to proceed with President Trump’s section with less than 40 days left until the 2020 Presidential Election.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a defender of the American Dream for all. A woman who fought for all to have the same opportunities in this nation. She is loved and remembered by many. Her legacy will not be forgotten.
“Feminism … I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, ‘Free to be You and Me.’ Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—man made barriers, certainly not heaven sent.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an interview with Makers