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  • Writer's pictureKennedy Samaire

KK in Their Shoes ‣ The Notorious RBG

For "Fall into a Book" this year, I wanted to read and write about my favorite Supreme Court Justice... The Notorious RBG!

Joan Ruth Bader was born on March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn New York to Nathan and Celia Bader. Her mom died in June of 1950, just one day before Ruth Graduated High School.

In fall of 1950, RBG enrolled at Cornell for undergrad. While at Cornell, Ruth met and married Marty Ginsburg. RBG and Marty had their first child, Jane Ginsburg on July 22, 1955. In 1956, Ruth enrolled at Harvard for law school as one of nine women in her class. Soon there after, Marty was diagnosed with cancer but with his wife’s help, managed to pass and graduate.

Once Marty graduated in 1958, RBG transferred to Columbia Law for her final year and graduated at top of her class but still couldn’t find a decent job. Finally, in 1963, Ruth got a job teaching full time at Rutgers Law School and went on to Co-Author a book called “Civil Procedure in Sweden” with Anders Bruzelius.

On September 8, 1965, RBG gave birth to her final child, a baby boy named James Ginsburg. In January 1972, Ruth co-founded the Woman’s Rights Project at the ACLU. Two years later, RBG published her second book, the first ever case book on sex-based discrimination; and was nominated to the U.S. Court of appeals for the D.C. unit on April 11, 1980.

Ms. Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female supreme court justice in 1981 and after 12 years of being surrounded by a bunch of men, Ruth was appointed by Bill Clinton. Ruth was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t miss a single day, In 2009, RBG had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and only missed 18 days. A year later, Marty Ginsburg died after being diagnosed with Metastatic cancer, but Ruth continued her work in the Supreme Court.

Ruth is now 86 and is still working out, doing 40 pushups a week and is still on the bench. She’ll keep fighting for what’s right and I believe she will continue to do so until she’s on her death bed.

That's really what I admire most about RBG... her tenacity. She always keeps going; she never quits; she gives everything her all; she believes in her ability - and from that belief, she finds her source of power and inspiration for others.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from RBG:

"When I'm asked when there will be enough women on the court and I say 'when there are nine,' people are shocked - but there has been nine men on the court and no one raised question about that."

"I wasn't 100% sober..."

(At the SOTU Address)

“It helps to be a little deaf sometimes.."

(On marriage)

"Marty was an unusual man, in fact, he was the first boy I knew that cared I had a brain."

"Women belong in all places decisions are made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception."

"Fight for what you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."

"I try to teach through my opinions."

"Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation."



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