The Notorious RBG

May her memory be a revolution

A memorial for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (Photo by Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash Photo edited by Hunter Keaster/Talon)

The Notorious RBG. 

Supreme Court Justice and co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has left a legacy that will live forever. In her early career, Ginsburg worked on sex discrimination cases and fought for womens’ rights. Her incredible work has helped further gender equality in the U.S. –– Ginsburg has paved the way for myself and millions of other women. 

Personally, my dream is to pursue a law degree and to enter the world of politics. It is because of Ginsburg’s influence that I will be taken seriously. She has also inspired me to pursue this dream.

From an early age, Ginsburg was paving new paths for women. She was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 at Harvard Law School. While she faced resistance from much of the faculty, she persevered and excelled. When she went to law school, the dean asked her and the other eight women in her class why they were “occupying seats that would otherwise be filled by men.” Despite comments and doubts such as these, Ginsburg proved herself as an incredible student and made law review at both Harvard and Columbia Law School. 

She still faced barriers due to her gender as she sought a career in law. She was declined a job as a law clerk because the male Justice felt “uncomfortable with the thought of a woman in his chambers.” 

Yet, Ginsburg overcame these barriers. She was appointed to the Court of Appeals by President Jimmy Carter and after 13 years, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court of the U.S. She became the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. 

Her achievements serve as an inspiration and guiding light to many young women. Ginsburg showed me that the doubts of others are worthless. The simple fact that I am a woman does not make me any less smart, any less powerful, any less capable.

Unfortunately, her death leaves an opening on the Supreme Court. Despite her dying wish that her seat not be filled until after the presidential election in November, President Donald Trump has begun the process of appointing her replacement, nominating Amy Coney Barrett. 

It was because of Ginsburg’s efforts on behalf of women that Barrett was able to excel in the world of law. When Ginsburg became part of the field of law, she was not seen as an equal to the men. She worked to change this perspective. Ginsburg paved the path that Barret has walked; however, Barrett will likely close many of the doors Ginsburg opened.

Barret is a devout Catholic who is against both abortion and the Affordable Care Act. She is part of a religious group known as the People of Praise. The group will not confirm her membership, however documents and interviews show she has had a role in the organization. The group has a male dominated hierarchy and a conservative stance on gender role and women’s position in society. 

It is hard to imagine that Barret’s religion has no influence on her decisions, and that is what scares me. Barret has even said that legal careers are “a means to the end of serving God.” I don’t believe she can be impartial and separate her religion from law. 

In 2016, the Republicans created a precedent, not allowing former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination to be confirmed due to the upcoming 2016 election, which was many months away. Now, in an exceedingly similar position, the Republicans seem to have forgotten the precedent they set.

I believe it is their duty to both follow their own precedent and allow the President chosen on Nov. 3 to select the next Supreme Court Justice.

Joe Biden is currently leading in the polls, and since the people seemingly feel that Trump no longer represents them, I do not think he should select the next Supreme Court Justice. Beyond this, according to an ABC poll,  majority of Americans believe the president chosen on Nov. 3 should select the next Supreme Court Justice.

Regardless, I believe we should take time to honor the memory and accomplishments of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will forever be a feminist icon and an inspiration to all.