Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passes away at age 87


Casey Chang

“I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mickey Lonner, AVT Editor-in-Chief

This Friday, September 18, the beloved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away at age 87 due to complications from cancer. Ginsberg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years after a long career of fighting for gender equality.

Ginsberg’s career has been defined by her incredible devotion toward the cause of women’s rights. When she was in law school, the field was incredibly male-dominated; she was one of eight women in a class of 500.

Over the course of Ginsberg’s career, she argued six landmark cases of gender equality while working for the ACLU. She helped eliminate legal differences between men and women, ensuring greater equality between the sexes. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1980, where she went on to serve as a liberal justice for 27 years.

Beneath the Surface: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Most Influential Cases

Music Credits: “Firefly“ by Podington Bear From the Free Music Archive CC BY NC

“She’s done so much over her career, and she never stopped fighting. I think she’s an inspiration to young women, and to older people as well,” says Katie Wiest (‘22). 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been an inspiration to generations of women. She has also weighed on many landmark decisions, including the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states. The news of her death is a blow to many who have looked up to her.

“I think somebody like Ruth Bader Ginsberg had so much power to push for amazing change, and now there’s going to be a gap there. We need another influential figure like her, but now there might be less progressive change because she’s not there,” says Sophie Evans (‘21). 

Ginsberg’s death has far-reaching political implications considering that the next presidential election takes place in only 49 days. This means that, even if he’s voted out of office, President Trump might be able to secure political power for conservatives by filling the open seat.

“Trump would probably nominate a very conservative person to replace her seat. Policy wise, I feel like we’ll almost be making backwards progress,” says Evans.

If President Trump gets a new justice confirmed in his time left in office, the Court will lean heavily conservative, with 6 conservative justices and 3 liberal justices.

“Before, there was more of a balance between liberals and conservatives in the Supreme Court. This definitely offers an opportunity for a lot of conservative policies to go through, which scares me personally,” says Wiest.

Whether you lean liberal or conservative, Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s influence in the fight for gender equality cannot be ignored. She leaves behind a legacy of strength and equality that everybody, regardless of gender, can look up to.