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Progressive U.S. Top Court Icon Dies At 87: September 18

Progressive U.S. Top Court Icon Dies At 87: September 18

Image by John Mathew Smith & on flickr

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman to serve as a justice on the U.S. highest court. She died on Friday after battling with pancreatic cancer in Brooklyn. 

She was a woman who did not hesitate to speak her mind and was both a reformist power on the U.S. Supreme Court and champion of women’s rights in her career.

She had a signature style with embellished collars or frilly jabots and was the maven of the court, her opinion in Bush V. Gore had changed the elections in 2000 in favour of Bush.

Defying the odds

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933, in a family of Russian Jewish immigrants at the height of the Great Depression, and her mother died out of cancer when she was a teenager. She went to Cornell University and fell in love with her husband, Martin. Later they both enrolled together in Harvard Law School. During that time she juggled studies with their firstborn, Jane, while her husband was fighting cancer.

Eventually, she continued her studies at Columbia University, and her husband took up a position at a law firm in New York. They later had a second child, James.

She has been the top student all her life but initially had troubles in her profession but ended up to be the top Court Icon.

The highest court

Ginburg was a federal court judge and then became the second woman and first Jewish woman justice in 1993.

Ginsburg penned her first majority viewpoint in the 1996 case of the United States, which ruled that Virginia Military Institute’s policy of only accepting men was undemocratic.

Ginsburg battled cancer several times over the years, and in 2010, her husband died. Then in 2019, she went under another round of cancer treatment. Whenever asked about her retirement she used to say John Paul Stevens did not leave the court until he was 90.

President Donald Trump will nominate Ginsburg’s replacement and has already appointed two conventional justices through his time in office, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.