Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought landmark cases for gender and racial equality before the Supreme Court, transforming the American legal landscape even before her historic appointment as the second-ever female Supreme Court justice. Ginsburg first enrolled at Harvard Law before transferring to Columbia Law School, making Law Review at both schools. She tied for first in her class at Columbia but struggled to find work after graduation because of her gender. Ginsburg began teaching law at Rutgers and then at Columbia, becoming the first woman to earn tenure at Columbia, and simultaneously served as the first director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. As the project’s chief litigator, Ginsburg argued vital cases for women’s equality before the Supreme Court, choosing to bring cases in a strategic order to advance women’s rights and selecting cases that showed gender discrimination could also harm men, such as a case where a widower was denied his wife’s Social Security benefits, which he needed to raise their infant son. In 1993, President Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, where she had an immeasurable impact on gender and racial equality in America. Justice Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020, due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg." (Viewed on January 27, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/ginsburg-ruth-bader>.