Losing the Voice of a Generation

Losing+the+Voice+of+a+Generation

DANIEL BAYER, Flickr

By Ethan Alonzo, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Calling Ruth Bader Ginsburg an icon in the fight for women’s rights would be the understatement of the century. Condensing her achievements and accomplishments into a mere 400-word article is not only a disservice to her legacy but also an impossible task.
The political landscape of America was changed through the work of The Notorious R.B.G. and America will have to face the upcoming political changes without one if it’s strongest voices.
If Ginsburg was anything, she was a trailblazer in the field of women’s rights, as she was the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, in 1972. However, even before then, Ginsburg paved the way for women in her respective field of work.
While Ginsburg was only one of nine women at Harvard Law in 1956, she was able to make law review at Harvard a year later then again at Columbia Law School, an achievement rare among students, both male or female. All the while parenting her newly born daughter.
Despite Ginsburg’s skills in law, with grades to prove it, she still wasn’t approved for a clerkship due to gender, according to the ACLU website.
“Upon graduating from Columbia in 1959, Ginsburg tied for first in her class. Still, when she was recommended for a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter by Albert Sachs, a professor at Harvard Law School, Frankfurter responded that he wasn’t ready to hire a woman and asked Sachs to recommend a man.”
After time abroad pursuing a different legal passion, international civil procedure, Ginsburg returned to the States, becoming the first female professor at Colombia to earn tenure. During this time, Ginsburg took to the Supreme Court, successfully arguing six gender-discrimination based cases.
Eventually, her fight for justice brought her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, appointed by President Jimmy Carter, where she served for thirteen years. Then, in 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, with this past August marking 27 years of service.
During her service as a justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued her work as an advocate, fighting for women’s rights. Between pay wage gaps to limited job positions based on gender, Ginsburg never gave up the fight.
There can be many ways to honor Ginsburg’s memory and beliefs, however, I think she said it best herself.
“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself.
‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.’”- Ruth Bader Ginsburg.