“It’s about time. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the #MetooMovement
Born Joan Ruth Bader, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O’Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomator and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following O’Connor’s retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ruth Bader was the only female justice on the Supreme Court.
In honor of her great strides for female empowerment, gender inclusion& parity and on the occasion of her 86th birthday, we are sharing 4 reasons why we love Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- She Co-Founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the U.S. to focus exclusively on women’s rights. From 1972 to 1980, she taught at Columbia, where she became the first tenured woman and co-authored the first law school “Casebook” on sex discrimination. She is also the Co-Founder of the Women’s Rights Project. Through this project, she argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court between 1973 and 1976, and won five. She attained a reputation as a skilled oral advocate and her work led directly to the end of gender discrimination in many areas of the law.
- As the first Jewish justice since the 1969 resignation of Justice Abe Fortas, the first-ever female Jewish justice, the second female justice and the longest-serving Jewish justice ever, Ruth Bader’s legal work made significant legal advances for women under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Her legal victories discouraged legislatures from treating women and men differently under the law.
- Following her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader deviated from court tradition by wearing a French robe d’avocat, as opposed to the traditional American judicial robe. The French robe differs from the American with its exposed buttons, open sleeves, standing collar, and white rabat. On the left shoulder of the robe are two buttons intended for the fastening of an epitoge, traditionally worn by French lawyers. She also shifted from the traditional uniform white French rabat and begin wearing more varied and fanciful jabots, necklaces, and other forms of neckwear. Her deviation from the norm blaized a trail for other female justices who also began to wear their judicial robe differently.
- Ruth Bader is a pop culture icon. Her fiery dissents particularly in Shelby County v Holder 570 U.S led to the creation of the Notorious R.B.G Tumblr and Internet Meme comparing the justice to rapper The Notorioud B.I.G THer pop culture appeal has inspired nail art, Halloween costumes, dolls, tattoos, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and a children’s coloring book among other things.
She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, has been named one of 100 Most Powerful Women (2009), one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year 2012,and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people (2015).She has also been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by Willamette University (2009),Princeton University (2010), and Harvard University (2011).