Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman Justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court in 1993. She overcame much gender-based discrimination in her early career, despite her distinguishing herself during law school at both Harvard and Columbia, where she held the coveted position as an editor. She argued before the Supreme Court to advance equal rights for men and women many times, and in 1980 appointed to the US Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court in 1993. She is a feminist pop icon and currently the oldest Justice on the Supreme Court.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Megan from San Diego

My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ‘40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side, but what made the chicken decide to cross it? Maybe he was trying to obtain something on the other side; something he longed for. He set his mind to his goal and wouldn’t let anything slow him down. Ruth Bader Ginsburg decided to cross a road, and guess what? She made it! Growing up in New York in the 1930’s, Ruth quickly learned that not everyone was treated equally and it bothered her. Ruth was known as “the legal architect of the modern women’s movement” (Hutchinson). Not only did she stand up for women, she stood up for herself showing everyone her determination to reach her goal. Ruth is the second female Supreme Court Justice ever. Due to Ruth’s motivation to fight for women’s rights, determination to succeed in a man’s profession, and self confidence to be true to herself and values, Ruth is easily classified a hero.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born Ruth Joan Bader, was born into a comfortable middle class family, on March 15, 1933 in New York City. In 1954, she married Martin D. Ginsburg. Ruth took pride in education earning her B.A. (Bachelor’s Degree) from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her L.L.B. (Bachelor Of Laws Degree) from Columbia Law School. She taught at Rutgers Law University from 1963-1972. From a young age, Ruth’s dream of fighting for women’s rights was encouraged by her mother who knew firsthand what it was like to fight for one’s rights. In the 1970’s Ruth became a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization that protects and ensures the constitutional rights of all citizens. During this time span she won many cases brought before the Supreme Court, mainly fighting for women’s rights. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ruth to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and on August 10, 1993, President William Clinton nominated her as a Justice of the Supreme Court, making her the second woman ever to serve on the Court. Currently, Justice Ginsburg sits comfortably upon her seat in Washington D.C.

Fighting for something you believe in can be a bit intimidating at times but sheer motivation can help in your time of need. Justice Ginsburg fought for women’s rights and was a firm believer in equality. “In 1971, she was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union” (Supreme Court). Her dedication to fight for her cause and her motivation to never give up is impeccable. She set her mind to helping women around the world and she wouldn’t stop until she succeeded. The fact that she launched a major project for her cause shows how much she wanted to make a difference. If you want something bad enough, you won’t stop until you get it. “She argued before the Supreme Court and won many cases involving equality between the sexes” (Rosen). Ginsburg showed her determination and persuasion as she won many tough cases before the Court. She showed everyone that she was willing and ready to fight to the end and that those who oppose her better look out! Not only did Ruth win numerous cases, she also helped women who were being discriminated against, which was her true goal all along. Although Ruth’s motivation is inspiring, there are other traits that Ruth has which make her a hero.

When someone has determination, there’s no telling what they can accomplish. Succeeding in a man’s profession is a very hard thing to do, physically and emotionally, but with a little determination, you’d be surprised at what you can achieve. “She became an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1993. She is the second woman to serve on the Court” (Rosen). Becoming a Supreme Court Justice is a great accomplishment for anyone, but for a female it’s even bigger. Not only was she determined to be a Justice, she was determined to succeed. Being only the second woman ever to be selected, expectations of her were very high but she didn’t care. She would fight even harder. Justice Ginsburg’s determination is an inspiration to others. “Only 8% of all judges are female” (Rosen). Although only 8% of judges are women, she is inspiring women to be whatever they want to be. She is making a difference and doesn’t let gender discrimination keep her from what she loves. Through her determination, will, and being in the right place at the right time, Justice Ginsburg showed everyone that she could succeed and make our country proud.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an inspiration because she perseveres through any challenge yet has the confidence to be true to herself and her values. From a young age, Ruth learned just how hard it was to stand up for your rights. “Her mother was a role model in Ruth’s life at a time when women had to fight for the privileges and rights men took for granted” (Hutchinson). Her mother taught her that although it’s unfair, we women have to fight for our rights. Justice Ginsburg decided to spark the fire and stand up for women, inspiring others to do the same. By listening to her heart, she began to make a difference. Justice Ginsburg took the initiative to get things done while on the Court. “Since taking office, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has written thirty-five significant opinions, two important concurring opinions, and three selected dissenting opinions”(Hutchinson). She shows that dedication and perseverance really pay off. She inspired many others, men and women alike, to fight for what they believe in and to not let anyone take control of their lives. In a way, Ruth resembles the chicken. They are both motivated, determined, and won’t stop until they reach their dreams. For this reason and many others, Ruth is deserving of her title; hero.




Watch the trailer for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, "RBG"

Page created on 8/13/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/27/2019 6:26:24 PM

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Related Links

Ruth Bader Ginsburg bio - Oyez - a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Chicago-Kent College of Law and, is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone.
Interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg - MAKERS - a feminist media brand for newsMAKERS, historyMAKERS, and troubleMAKERS. We tell the stories of today's trailblazing women to inspire the changeMAKERS of tomorrow.
Notorious RBG - Tumblr - Popular tumblr dedicated to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Scalia and Ginsburg on Broadway - TEDxBroadway | Composer Derrick Wang talks about his opera based on the friendship of two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia