“Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue.’ The Hebrew quote from Deuteronomy adorned the Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s chambers.” Embodying that passage wholeheartedly, Justice Ginsburg continually fought for equality throughout her lifetime, passing away on Sept. 18, at the age of 87 after a long fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Her fight and strength never waivered as she battled for gender equality; fighting for women’s rights before and during her 27-year service as a Supreme Court justice.
Graduating Cornell University at the top of her class in 1954, Justice Ginsburg began studying at Harvard Law School before transferring to Columbia Law School where she tied for first in her class upon graduating in 1959. Despite her accomplishments, she faced gender-based discrimination during and post-academia, and had difficulty finding employment at the start of her career. Justice Ginsburg worked as a law clerk for Judge Edmund L. Palmieri of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from from 1960-62; joining the Columbia Law School Project on International Civil Procedure as a research associate in 1961. “This project fully immersed her in Swedish culture, where she lived abroad to do research for her book on Swedish Civil Procedure practices.”
Upon returning from Sweden in 1963, Justice Ginsburg taught at Rutgers Law School, until she accepted the offer to teach at Columbia Law School in 1972 and “became the first female professor to earn tenure.” During the 1970s, she directed the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union “and successfully argued six landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.” In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsberg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Continuing to advocate for women’s rights, she served on the court for 13 years until President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1993. “She is the second woman—and the first Jewish woman—to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The longest serving woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg “earned the nickname ‘Notorious RBG’ for her strong dissents;” significantly impacting the law with cases such as United States v. Virginia, Safford Unified School District v. Redding, Obergefell v. Hodges, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and many more. Honoring the Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the links below provide additional information on her life and legacy.
Links curated by Merrill Stein, Political Science Librarian.
- Multimedia archive project for Supreme Court information—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Statements from the Supreme Court regarding the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- I Dissent: The Life and Legacy of the Incomparable Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Falvey Library catalog resources
- The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies
- Supreme Court Yearbook
- America: History and Life (EBSCO)
- Gender Studies Database (EBSCO)
- GenderWatch (ProQuest)
- NYPL presents Books to Celebrate the Life & Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Death Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (NPR)
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Jewish Women’s Archive)
- Notorious RGB (National Museum of American Jewish History)
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Obituary of the Supreme Court Justice (BBC News)
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered at US Supreme Court
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life in Pursuit of Gender Equality
- The Four Justices (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)