Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Condolences at the death of a global leader is quite common, but it rarely happens that the death of domestic judges causes so much grief from around the world. The death of the US Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg caused such grief and evoked heartfelt messages from every corner of the globe. She was suffering from cancer.
The 87-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG as she was fondly called, was a pioneer in the field of women equality and liberal views. She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and in recent years served as the most senior member of the court’s liberal wing, consistently delivering progressive votes in her 27-year-old tenure on the most divisive social issues of the day, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action. Ginsburg developed a rock star status and was dubbed the “Notorious R.B.G”!
She belonged to the generation when women barely chose law as the subject of studies. But RBG chose law and proved a stellar student both at Harvard and Columbia Law School. She was one of the only nine women at Harvard Law School in 1956, and apparently Ginsburg and her female classmates were asked by the dean why they were occupying seats that would otherwise be filled by men! She was the second woman in history, after Sandra Day O’Connor, to serve as a justice in the Supreme Court. No doubt, her death has affected the women the most.
RBG was a pioneer in many senses. She produced such liberal and futuristic verdicts which put faith in human abilities and equality among the sexes. One such verdict was in 1996 when she quashed the archaic norm which allowed only men to be admitted to Virginia Military Institute. The 7-1 ruling stated that the institute’s admission policy stood in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
She was not afraid to take the government by the horn. In 2000 she was one of the four judges who wanted the recounting of votes between George W Bush and Al Gore. She also gave scathing dissent in discrepancies in wages, voting rights, equal opportunities for women etc.