By Madeline Burgin | Staff writer
The Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, September 18, 2020, leaving a legacy of fighting for equal rights behind.
Ginsburg is widely known for being the second woman on the Supreme Court.
“What a lot of people don’t realize was that she actually argued many significant gender rights cases before she became a justice on the supreme court,” notes Dr. Martha Ginn, professor of political science at Augusta University.
“She went to law school for herself and her husband (when he was diagnosed with cancer) and raised their daughter… [she was] top of her class and still got screwed over in the job department. She wasn’t all talk, but she had lived experience,” as explained by Ginn, Ginsburg fought for equality while encountering discrimination in her own life.
After her experience with gender discrimination, “she then founded the [ACLU’s] women’s rights project. Through that interest group… she was able to argue significant cases that changed rights for women,” Ginn says.
When appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by Bill Clinton, Ginsburg continued to fight and advocate for equality.
“She was a staunch supporter of the rights of marginalized groups in society [from the LGBTQ community, prisoners, people with mental disabilities] … [she stood up] for people whose voices have not been listened to,” Ginn says.
Ginn says that she was also known as “The Great Dissenter” and read her opinions aloud from the bench. Her most notable being Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Co., which highlights the loopholes involving gender-based pay discrimination.
Ginsburg transformed into an icon by being a champion for equal rights and being a fighter throughout her life, “she beat cancer several times. She served as this role model for fighting. We shouldn’t forget that,” says Ginn. Ginn explains her legacy for women by saying, “even if you didn’t agree with everything she stood for ideologically, as a woman you felt a connection with her. Because she was fighting for you regardless of what you believed in.”