Reflecting on RBG – A Courageous Life


Jada Harris, Staff Reporter

Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived a courageous life, constantly defying society’s expectations that she could never be as influential or successful as a man. While she passed away on September 18 at the age of 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer, she has left an everlasting impact. 

Throughout college, Ginsburg worked very hard to be at the top of her class at Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, though she faced the challenge of sexism. The people around her did not take her seriously because of her gender, but this didn’t stop her from changing history. 

After she graduated from law school, Ginsburg struggled to get a job, despite being qualified. Employers didn’t want to hire her because she was Jewish, a female, and raising a baby. All of these things seemed to make it impossible for Ginsburg to get a job. Even so, she persisted through this challenge and never gave up. 

In an interview with Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg, she said, “My mother was the brains in the family. But her parents wanted her to go out and work, even before finishing high school, because there was a boy in the family, and money had to be made so that he could go to college.” CBS News reporter Erin Moriarty asked, “How do you think that affected your mom?” Ginsburg’s daughter responded by saying, “Seeing a less-qualified male preferred to a deserving woman was something that marked her from a very early age”. 

In 1993, Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the highest court, a huge step in her career. She was easily confirmed by the Senate, the vote being 96-3. This decision gave hope and inspiration to women all across the United States. 

Throughout Ginsburg’s career she experienced many difficulties, some of which included battling cancer four times and facing sexism from her male counterparts. However, these hardships never slowed her down. Challenge after challenge, she continued to work hard to reach her goals of defending women’s rights. 

It was these challenges that motivated Ginsburg to finally make a change and help women all across the United States. In the 1970s, Ginsburg led the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. The ACLU Women’s Rights Project has helped with legal reform through the courts in the areas of women’s equality and economic rights.  During this time she argued six cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court, five of which she won (New York Times).

Ginsburg worked to persuade people that all were entitled to equal rights under the law. Throughout her career, Ginsburg continued to speak out about equal pay for males and females while educating the public about the gender pay gap. These actions led to significant changes that benefited women in the workforce. Because of her work, women began gaining more respect and equal rights. 

Since Ginsburg’s passing, many people have been debating if her seat should be filled on the Supreme Court. While President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barret for this position, many Liberals and Democrats do not think that Trump should be filling Ginsburg’s spot so quickly and it should be decided after the presidential election in November. Barret, a strong conservative, has views that differ tremendously from Ginsburg as she has promoted abortion restrictions and rejects free health care (The Washington Post). Whether Barrett will officially fill Ginsburg’s seat or not is still undecided and is opposed by many of Ginsburg’s supporters.

Judge Ginsburg has left a huge impact on our country and she will forever have a powerful legacy.  Not only was she the second woman to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court, but she also led the way for women’s equality and for women’s rights to be taken seriously by both the courts and by America ( Ginsburg will always be remembered for the way she changed the view of women in society and helped them to earn equal rights. She has taught people to never back down from a challenge no matter how difficult the circumstances may seem and to always strive for more.