“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
On the 18th of September 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsburg tragically passed away due to complications caused by pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was not only a key justice on the nation’s highest court but also a champion of race and gender equality and a pioneering lawyer on women’s equality. So who is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? What is her legacy? And what impact will her death have on America?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an associated justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death. She spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She was strong and steadfast in her opinions. Her passionate dissents in many cases highlighted her immense desire for equality and ability to stand up for what she believed in.
Ginsburg will be remembered as a champion of equality, not only during her time in the Supreme Court but throughout her entire career. She was a chief architect in the campaign against sex-role stereotyping in the law, arguing and winning 5 landmark Supreme Court cases during the 1970s. These decisions abolished many laws that favoured gender inequality and began to establish principles of equal treatment in the law for women.
Ginsburg’s legacy also extends outside the courtroom. Her resilience and unwavering commitment to her profession will continue to be an inspiration to millions. Her mother passed away the day before she graduated high school. Ginsburg’s husband battled cancer while in law school, and her older sister died at a very young age. These traumatic experiences didn’t overcome Ginsburg; instead, it fuelled her fierce determination to accomplish her dreams and achieve justice for others. She refused to let loss defeat her.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought her whole life. Through every up and down, she maintained her passion for equality, whether gender, race or any other injustice that she witnessed. Her passing leaves a massive hole in the American Supreme Court which Donald Trump has raced to replace. What does this now mean for America?
Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump nominated conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the next Justice of the US Supreme Court. This decision could see a potential long-lasting conservative Supreme Court majority to repeal the Affordable Care Act and reverse the right to an abortion in America. This new majority could see America moving backwards, and that is incredibly disappointing to see. Throughout Ginsburg’s career, she consistently prioritised moving forward. Adapting to changing social standards and acknowledging that the law must reflect the time. However, Barrett’s appointment could send the Supreme Court in the opposite direction, back into the past and back to denying the rights of those Ginsburg fought hard for.
Judge Barret’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin on the 12th of October, but for now, let’s remember and acknowledge the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A champion of equality and justice who changed the world.