On Friday, September 18, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. She was 87 years old. She spent her life working for equality for women. Let’s look at her remarkable life.
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was young, she worked very hard in school. She wanted to become a lawyer. A lawyer studies the law carefully. A lawyer advises people about the law and represents people in court. Some people thought only men should be lawyers. Ruth Bader Ginsburg disagreed. Ruth Bader Ginsburg went to law school. She graduated with the best grades in her class!
After graduating from law school, Ruth Bader Ginsburg worked for the Women’s Rights Project. This project tried to change unfair laws that did not treat all people equally. She argued cases before the Supreme Court. Her arguments helped change laws. Slowly but surely, women were gaining equality under the law. Ginsburg said, “Real change . . . happens one step at a time.”
After the success of the Women’s Rights Project, Ginsburg was selected to work as a judge. She served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for thirteen years, until 1993. Then the president appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court of the United States. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg continued to support women’s rights and equality as a Supreme Court justice. She was not always successful. Sometimes the other Supreme Court justices would make a decision, and Ginsburg would object, or dissent. She felt that her dissents might be useful in the future if similar issues need to be decided by the Supreme Court. “Some of my favorite opinions are dissenting opinions,” Ginsburg said. “I will not live to see what becomes of them, but I remain hopeful.”
What Do You Think? Why do you think so many people admire the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg? What causes do you want to work for in your lifetime?
Photo Credit: Steven Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States