Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has lost her battle with cancer. After a valiant struggle, Ginsberg died September 18, 2020 – just a short time before American Jews were to ring in the new year with Rosh Hashanah celebrations – from complications of her pancreatic cancer in her Washington, DC home at the age of 87.
Ginsberg has dealt with a number of health issues over the past several years including broken ribs, five buts of cancer, and a blocked artery.
She was the second woman to be named to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O”Connor. A staunch rights advocate, Ginsberg frequently butted heads with her fellow Justices. A stickler for following the rules, she was a strong believer in digging into the cases.
President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsberg to a Federal judgeship.
Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, it was the first time a Supreme Court Justice a democratic president nominated a member of SCOTUS in 26 years. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 96 to 3.
At the time of his appointment, President Clinton said, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not need a seat on the Supreme Court to earn her place in the American history books. She has already done that.” As an architect of the women’s rights movement, Ginsberg won five of the six key cases she argued in the seventies.
Ginsberg was presented with the Thurgood Marshall Award in 1999 for her contributions ot civil rights and gender equality.
When not sitting on the bench, Ginsberg loved opera.
Joan Ruth Bader was born on March 15, 1933 in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York the youngest of two girls. Her older sister died when she was six years old. Young Ruth dreamed of being an opera star when she grew up.
Ginsberg’s own mother died as a result of cancer when Ruth was in high school.
She graduated from Cornell University and attended Harverd University before going to Columbia. After graduating from the Columbia University Law School in 1959, she had difficulty in finding a job in the man’s world of law. Ginsberg noted that she had three strikes against her – she was a woman, Jewish, and a mother. She later became the first female tenured professor at Columbia University.
Predeceased by her husband of over 50 years Martin – a tax attorney and law professor, Ginsberg is survived by her children Jane and James and grandchildren. Martin died in 2010 as a result of cancer
Feature photo credit: By Simmie Knox, under commission of the United States Supreme Court – http://dcchs.org/usca/RuthGinsburg.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23263923