Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg Passes Away

Emily Coffey '23, Contributing Writer

Ruth Bader Ginsberg paved the way for gender equality rights and served as a major role model to many women in America. As a child, Ginsburg’s biggest inspiration was her mother. Having to help pay for her brother’s tuition, Ginsburg’s mom worked rather than pursuing her own education. When she passed away the day before Ginsburg’s high school graduation, Ruth made it her goal to achieve all of the things her mother never had the chance to even try.

Ginsburg attended Cornell University and graduated top of her class. She began law school at Cornell before she transferred to Harvard Law. In the class of 500 students, Ginsburg was one of nine women. She faced discrimination from not only fellow students, but even professors who didn’t believe women were capable of the work. While at Harvard, her husband, a fellow law student, was diagnosed with cancer. Taking initiative, Ginsburg took notes in every class for him while still keeping up with all of her work, just so that he could graduate on time.

Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School for her last year where she once again graduated top of her class. Even after finishing law school, she faced discrimination everywhere, making it tough to find a job. She started as a clerk, went abroad for a civil project, then taught at Rutgers Law School as well as Columbia Law School.

Ginsburg believed in women’s rights and the issue of gender equality as a whole. Men and women deserved to have equal rights. In 1975, Ginsburg argued on behalf a widower whose wife died during child labor. When he applied for Social Security benefits, his son was eligible but he was denied because at the time a man could not receive the same benefits that a woman could if their husband died. Ginsburg argued that this was discrimination and that Social Security benefits could not be given only based on gender, and ultimately won the case, showing that men’s rights were equally important.

Later, Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for several years before Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. Ginsberg had a strong opinion and she was not afraid to use her voice. Her points of view were clearly heard in her powerfully written arguments and dissents.

Ginsburg died last Friday, September 18 at her home with family. She was a true inspiration and hero to millions of Americans. Ginsburg was a trailblazer, clearing the path for the many women to follow.

Her impact has reached high school students as well. Westborough High School student sophomore Shannon Clark says, “I admired her unwavering persistence and her strong-willed personality. Ginsburg inspired me to believe in myself and work harder at everything because throughout all the obstacles that were thrown at [Ginsburg], she still accomplished her goals”.

With the presidential election fast approaching, the debate of when a replacement for Ginsburg should be chosen is brewing. Typically it takes about 70 days for the entire process of picking a candidate and approving them to be completed. With 40 days until Election Day, President Trump has announced plans to pick and approve his choice before then. Opposers say that the new president should pick the replacement and that the process should not be rushed. What should be done?

It seems a precedent should have been set when in March of 2016, Obama’s last year in office, a spot on the Supreme Court opened up. Even before Obama could name a nominee, Republicans argued that the process should be halted and that the new president should choose the replacement. Obama agreed to this even though it was 8 months before Election Day.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg made it clear as she was passing away by telling her granddaughter that what she wanted was: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed”.

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