Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left a lasting legacy from her work in the Supreme Court. She was a strong advocate for gender equality and women’s rights; NPR describes her as “leading the fight in the courts for gender equality.” Since she was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Clinton, Ruth Bager Ginsburg fought to protect people of color, minorities, women, public education and access to healthcare. Ginsburg was the second woman to be appointed a Supreme Court Justice. The Supreme Court announced her tragic passing in a press release on Sept. 18. The press release mentions that the cause of death was due to complications from pancreatic cancer, but that Justice Ginsburg was surrounded by her family in her home in Washington D.C. Even in her passing, she is continuing to make history. USA Today reports that Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol, among the 34 men that have had the same honor.
Some call Ruth Bader Ginsburg the “Notorious RBG”, and for good reason. Ginsburg is responsible for many positive contributions in the legal system. Before Ginsburg, state-funded schools did not have to admit women, and women could not have a bank account or a mortgage without a male co-signing for them. Ginsburg made strides towards equal pay, reproductive rights for women and same-sex marriage. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was known for being “tough as nails” and standing up for her liberal ideals. NPR writes that “Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the court about to open a new term, the chief justice no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.” Right before her passing, Ginsburg shared one last wish, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
NPR reports that “Some liberals criticized her for not retiring while Obama was president, but she was at the top of her game, enjoyed her work enormously and feared that Republicans might not confirm a successor.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s reaction to that criticism was a couple simple questions to those pressuring her to step down, “Who do you think that the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate? Who you would prefer on the court [rather] than me?” Ginsburg had a feeling that if she stepped down, her replacement would most likely not hold the same liberal ideals that she did. The New York Times quotes one of her interviews from 2014 “anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided.” She suggests in this interview that no one as liberal her could get confirmed if she left.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg advocated for educational rights, reproductive rights, equality and so much more. Ginsburg supported women in the legal system and once said that “women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”