The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg was born on March 15th, 1933 and passed away on September 18, 2020. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and later attended Cornell University for college and Harvard University and Columbia University for law school, where she graduated as joint first in her class. RBG spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She also worked as a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civic procedure. As one of the few women in her field, RBG was a voluntary attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and was a member of its board of directors. In 1980, RBG was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals, where she served until 1993, when she joined the Supreme Court of the United States. She served on the Supreme Court until her passing on September 18th, 2020. RBG was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and wrote many notable opinions championing equal rights and justice.
In October, 2019, I went to see Notorious RBG: The life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an incredibly innovative and forward-thinking exhibition at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The exhibition was based on Notorious RBG, Ginsburg’s dynamic biography, written by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. As I walked around the museum, taking in the accumulated evidence of a life purposefully, and judiciously lived, I learned so much about the now-deceased Supreme Court Justice. One of the most beautiful elements of Ginsburg’s personal life was her marriage to her husband, Martin Ginsburg, whom she referred to as “Marty.”
Co-authors Carmon and Knizhnik must have been equally inspired by Ruth and Marty’s example because each woman had her respective marriage officiated by the judge. The Supreme Court justice recognized that love and rights go hand-in-hand. She was passionate about elevating marginalized members of society.
When she was asked how many women would be an appropriate number to sit on the US Supreme Court, RBG answered “nine.” Before her death, she said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Ruth Bader Ginsberg left a glorious legacy of power, love and dignity, and it is up to us, the people, to keep her spirit alive and to continue to fight for the equal rights of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, body, background, or culture.