Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1993-2020)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a tireless champion for equality and civil rights. She knew from personal experience the sting of being underestimated or dismissed because of her gender. She was challenged for taking a seat from a man upon entering law school, denied a job after graduating first in her class because of her gender, and forced to hide her pregnancy from an employer to keep her job. Undeterrred, she went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, and set about toppling these barriers and many more.
These experiences informed her thinking, and her opinions and dissents blazed a path for broader civil rights, property rights, and employment rights for women and LGBTQIA+ persons. Opening a bank or credit card account in your own name, or obtaining a mortgage, are possible for women because Justice Ginsburg made the case.
She also paved the way for wider opportunities for women in military service. When I joined the Army Reserve after high school, I was not limited to nursing, clerical or administrative occupations, because Ruth Bader Ginsburg knew women were capable of more. When I entered law school in 2008, the class was half women and half men, a world away from the class of 8 women and over 500 men she entered. I can thank her for that too.