Human rights activist, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg dies

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Friday, September 19, the world lost a true icon; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a champion of human rights, particularly for gender equality.

(Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

She passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 at home with her family. Her dying wish was that her replacement not be made until after the election in November. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated however that he will immediately look to replace Ginsburg.

Incidentally, when the last Justice died during Obama’s term, McConnell refused to look for a replacement until after that election. It is unclear what his justification is for him to change his mind on the same issue four years later.

Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Cornell University on afull scholarship. Sheattended both Harvard and Columbia University to complete her law degree and was first in hergraduating class of 1959.

During the time before Ginsburg’s appointment, women were barred from many different jobs and their rights were limited. Despite her credentials, she had a hard time getting hired initially since she was a woman and a mother, but fought hard for herself and other women from the beginning. She dedicated her work to ending gender discrimination, leading many milestones for women in her field through her own career appointments, her writings, her speeches, and her litigation.

Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years, only the second woman to be appointed when she began in 1993. Before this, she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980. Since 1999, she has been diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer, including most recently in her liver. Regardless, she continued to work and persist, even staying on as the Supreme Court Justice up until her death.