Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who passed away on Friday, September 18 at the age of 87, will forever have the legacy of a trailblazer. As the second woman to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsberg paved the way for women's rights. She argued and won multiple cases at the Supreme Court in the 1970s to persuade an all-male jury to apply the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause to sex-based discrimination. In the landmark United States v. Virginia case, she courageously proclaimed that the Virginia Military Institute’s policy of refusing to admit women was unconstitutional: “Inherent differences between men and women, we have come to appreciate, remain cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the members of either sex or for artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity.” As someone who was rejected from New York law firms and denied a clerkship on the Supreme Court solely because of her gender, Justice Ginsberg was a true American hero, someone who, our Founding Fathers would say, made America “a more perfect union.”
Justice Ginsberg’s death in the final weeks of a presidential campaign put America into a cold political reality. President Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConell were dead-set on replacing her with someone who would obliterate all the progress she made. After numerous petitions, protests, and debates, Amy Coney Barrett was nominated and inducted as the new Supreme Court Justice on October 27. Barrett represents and stands for many of the issues that Ginsberg was against. For example, as a Republican who tilted the court to the Right, Barrett believes in banning abortion or at least making it harder for women to access abortion centers. Her conservative beliefs give Senate Republicans, who represent a minority of the nation, and the president, who was elected by the minority of the nation, control over the Supreme Court. Everyone who values the integrity of the nation’s highest court has been dreading a moment like this. It is more important now than ever for Americans to unite to defend the future of our democracy. It is our duty as citizens of this country to carry on Justice Ginsberg’s lifelong battle for equality.
By: Jessica Guan
Santucci, John and Faulders, Katherine. “Donald Trump to put forth nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in coming days: Sources.” ABC News. 18 Sep. 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-put-nominee-replace-justice-ruth-bader/story?id=73107862
The Editorial Board. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy.” New York Times. 19 Sep. 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/19/opinion/ruth-bader-ginsburg-legacy.html
“United States v. Virginia.” Oyez. 19 Sep. 2020. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1995/94-1941