The legacy and impact of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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In this Jan. 30, 2018 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg waves in acknowledgement of the applause she receives as she arrives for a “fireside chat” in the Bruce M. Selya Appellate Courtroom at the Roger William University Law School in Bristol, R.I. Ginsburg died on Sept. 18. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

On Sept. 18 the country mourned the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsberg served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death, but her most notable accomplishment may be how she paved the way for women in the world of law and justice. 

Justice Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 15, 1933. Ginsburg attended college as an undergraduate at Cornell University then went on to study at Harvard Law School, where she became the first female on the Harvard Law Review. She excelled academically, finishing her schooling as a Kent Scholar at Columbia Law School. 

Throughout her career, Justice Ginsburg paved the way for women and tirelessly fought for gender equality. She became the second female law professor at Rutgers University, fought for equal pay and was the first tenured female law professor at Columbia. 

Ginsburg influenced the lives of millions across the country and world. “My first exposure to Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in my high school government class. I remember being struck by her fiery disposition and matter-of-fact SCOTUS opinions,” said Brittany Lund, a senior studying political science at BYU. Lund feels inspired by Justice Ginsburg to live a life in a way that emulates her passion and drive. 

Among the countless noteworthy accomplishments of Ginsburg, one particularly stands out. She argued six cases in front of the Supreme Court — and won five. She argued cases revolving around gender discrimination not only for women but also for men. She worked to make sure all were treated equally and women were encouraged and treated the same as men. 

Justice Ginsburg not only became a driving force for gender equality but is one of the only lawyers and Supreme Court Justices to become a pop culture icon. Her life has been depicted in movies and books for years, resulting in a fan base full of ambitious women that look to her as an example of what is possible for their lives. She has served as an inspiration and although she will be missed, her legacy will continue onward.

“She was often the only woman in the room and has paved the way to not only be in the room but have a permanent seat at the table,” said Lund. The example of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will continue on as women strive to find their place in a world dominated by men. “Her life is an example to me that I have the ability to be a force for change.” 

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