What can we possibly add to the outpouring of praise for the life and career of Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? A trailblazer and lodestar in the realm of women’s rights, she must have been heartened by the victories in the 2018 midterms and last month’s primaries. For it is women, the beneficiaries of Ginsburg’s long career, who will be saving American democracy. They had many paths cleared by the young attorney working for the ACLU. From Oyez:
Ginsburg also directed the influential Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s. In this position, she led the fight against gender discrimination and successfully argued six landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg took a broad look at gender discrimination, fighting not just for the women left behind, but for the men who were discriminated against as well.
In addition to teaching, she began volunteering to handle discrimination cases for the New Jersey affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought her such cases as complaints by public-school teachers who had lost their jobs when they became pregnant. A childhood friend from summer camp, Melvin Wulf, who had become national legal director for the A.C.L.U., heard about her work and brought more cases her way. Among them was the Idaho case on estate administrators that eventually became her first Supreme Court victory, Reed v. Reed. The 88-page brief she filed in that case, an inventory of all the ways in which law served to reinforce society’s oppression of women, became famous in legal history as the “grandmother brief,” on which feminist lawyers drew for many years.
On the facade of our Federal Building a female representation of Knowledge reads a book, something the current President of the United States has never done.
Ginsburg’s final request dictated to her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
(A candlelight vigil will be held at 8pm tonight, Saturday, September 19, at the Supreme Court Building on 250 Benefit Street.)