RBG Death

Dana Colston

After a life of fighting for gender equality, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice and human rights activist, passed away at the age of 87 due to pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020.
Ginsberg was born on March 15, 1933. She graduated from Cornell University in 1954 at the top of her class, married her classmate Martin Ginsberg, and then put her career on hold for several years after the birth of her first child Jane. In 1956, she enrolled at Harvard Law School and was one of nine women in her class of over five hundred. She later transferred to Columbia Law School and graduated tied for top in her class in 1959. RBG became a law professor at Rutgers University in 1963, and later became a professor at Columbia Law School in 1972.
She argued several cases on gender discrimination before the Supreme Court during her career. In 1980, RBG was appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served there until she was appointed as a justice on the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. Ginsberg was the second woman and first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
“[Ruth Bader Ginsberg] made it so that women have equal opportunities in life and don’t have to be supported by men, and that men could also have the same opportunities as a woman,” says Katelyn Coleman, 8.
The first gender discrimination case Ginsberg argued in court was the Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue case. The case was about Charles Moritz, who had claimed a tax deduction for the cost of hiring a caregiver for his disabled mother. The Internal Revenue Service denied the deduction, because though the tax code allowed this kind of deduction, it is only for women and formerly married men, and Moritz was never before married. RBG argued that this violated the Equal Protection Clause (a law stating that everyone is to be protected by the law) because it was gender-based discrimination. She won the case, and the tax code extended the caregiver deduction to never-married men.
“RBG had a big impact on gender equality because she always decided on the verdict of a case with the idea that men and women are equal, and she also supported equality outside of the court, like with her book My Own Words,” says Paari Palani, 8.
Ginsberg argued six gender discrimination cases in court and won five. She argued for both men and women against discrimination and proved that gender discrimination hurts everyone, not just females. She wrote multiple books, such as My Own Words and I Know This To Be True, about her life and gender equality.
“[RBG’s] death was impactful because she died right before the election,” says Kyra Chagarlamudi, 8.
Ginsberg’s death being in the close proximity of the presidential election has President Donald Trump attempting to get his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barret confirmed before Inauguration Day in the case that he isn’t re-elected.
Overall, Ruth Bader Ginsberg greatly impacted gender equality in America and will not be an easy figure to replace.