The Notorious RBG: Supreme Court Justice dies at 87

Ailina Cunningham, Staff Writer 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. Photo retrieved from Twitter.com

On Sept. 18th, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of complications from pancreatic cancer. Known to some as “The Notorious RBG,” the accomplishments this woman achieved are owed to the tireless determination that she displayed throughout her life. Her contribution to legal history will not be forgotten as she pioneered several legal steps forward for women’s rights. Some accomplishments can be seen in the movie that was made about her life “On the Basis of Sex.”

Several other accomplishments of Ginsburg’s include becoming the first woman to join the prestigious Harvard Law review journal; doing this while her husband and young child both needed care due to the fact that her husband at the time had contracted testicular cancer. Ginsburg took over his classes and hers while receiving her legal degree and taking care of a young child. Several ways she moved the women’s rights movement forward hinged on the 14th Amendment, which holds an equal rights protection clause. 

Cases that Ginsburg used the 14th amendment on include: Frontiero v. Richardson, Reed v. Reed, and Craig v. Boren. All of these cases pushed for total equality for all genders. One that she won was a fight for similar drinking age requirements for both men and women since an Oklahoma statute allowed women to purchase alcohol at 18 years old while men had to wait until 21. She had this reversed so that both genders would have to wait until the age of 21 to purchase any alcohol. Another case you may not be aware of but has noticeable effects is when RBG fought for women’s rights to serve on a jury and not be dismissed based on their gender. 

When she passed away, a loss to the country was felt everywhere as many proclaimed on hashtags and posts all over the internet that the “Notorious RBG” should be remembered and that her dying wish to not be replaced until the election had passed should be respected. Her presence was felt in subtle ways, such as the statue of the brave girl in New York is adorned with one of Ruth’s famous neck collars to emphasize her bravery and contribution to history. Other statements being made included several pins and buttons utilized to increase voter registration stating things such as “Ruth sent me.”

When she was laid to rest in the Capitol, speaker Nancy Pelosi shared that “it is with profound sorrow and deep sympathy to the Ginsburg family that I have the high honor to welcome Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state in the Capital of the United States. She does so on the catafalque built for Abraham Lincoln. May she rest in peace.”

The sentiment of deep respect for this woman’s accomplishments and a feeling of loss was undoubtedly felt at her funeral as the nation strives to remember her legacy and the impact she had upon the women’s rights movement. 

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