To this day, there have only been four female United States Supreme Court Justices. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1933-2020) was one of them.
In the face of extreme sexism at the beginning of her career, RBG exhibited exemplary resilience. Her struggle ultimately lead her to become a champion for women’s rights.
The second female justice ever nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, RBG is remembered for her lifelong commitment to gender equality, civil liberties, and equal pay.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s Journey To The U.S.S.C.
Despite going to two of our nation’s finest law schools, when Ruth Bader Ginsberg graduated with top grades, no law firm in New York City would hire her. Instead of feeling defeated, RBG started teaching. In a 2019 interview, RBG credits her years as a law professor for giving her time to devote to the gender equality movement.
In 1993, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the United States Supreme Court. There, she wrote some of the most influential dissenting opinions of our time and consistently delivered progressive votes on the most divisive social issues of the day.
The issues she championed included: abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action.
In a 2019 interview with NPR, RBG remarked on something fellow United States Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.), had said to her:
“Suppose we had come of age at a time when women lawyers were welcome at the bar…today we would be retired partners from some large law firm. But because that route was not open to us, we had to find another way, and we both ended up on the United States Supreme Court.”Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor quoted by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019 Interview, NPR
Poignantly making the point for all women that hardships which seem insurmountable at the time, can serve to point you in the direction of your life’s work. Furthermore, RBG’s journey shows us that what may seem like your greatest curse, may turn out to be your greatest blessing.