Ruth Bader Ginsburg Biography

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Biography 


Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor)
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Ruth Joan Bader was born on March 15, 1933, the daughter of Celia and Nathan Bader, in Brooklyn, New York. Nathan Bader was a furrier and came to the United States from Russia when he was 13. Her mother, Celia, was born in the United States and had a strong passion for reading, language and the love of books. Ruth Bader was one of two daughters; her older sister, Marilyn, died of meningitis and she was reared as an only child.

Ruth was an excellent student in school, graduating at the top of her class in grammar school and an academic leader in high school. She was confirmed with honors from the East Midwood Jewish Center. Ginsburg was very active in high school where she played the cello in the orchestra, was a member of Arista, was a cheerleader and a baton twirler and the editor of her high school newspaper. Her mother died the day before she was to graduate from James Madison High School.

Following high school, she recieved a New York State scholarship and studied at Cornell University where she worked as a research assistant for Professor Robert E. Cushman, which was where she first became interested in law. She also credits Professor Vladimir Nabokov for continuing her interest in words and writing; skills that would later be useful as a lawyer. After earning her B.A. degree in government from Cornell, in 1954, she married Martin D. Ginsburg, who had graduated Cornell the year before. He was called for military service the same year and they lived at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for two years.

Later they both enrolled in the Harvard Law School. Ruth transferred to Columbia Law School after her husband graduated Harvard Law School and obtained a job in Manhattan.

After her graduation, she experienced gender discrimination but, in part due to the recommendations by male lawyers, she was hired as a clerk for Federal District Judge Edward L. Palmieri. She spent two years on a Columbia Law School project and became the second woman to join the faculty of Rutgers Law School. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia. She was sworn in on June 30, 1980, and served for thirteen years.

President Bill Clinton was confronted with a vacancy on the Supreme Court after Judge Byron R. White resigned. After three months of searching for a candidate, he nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her nomination was approved by the Senate on august 10, 1993.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Facts


She was a professor of law at Rutgers from 1963 to 1972. In 1970 she co-founded the Women's Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the U.S. to focus exclusively on women's rights.

In 1972, Ginsburg co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and, in 1973, she became the ACLU's General Counsel. As the chief litigator for the Women's Rights Project, she briefed and argued several landmark cases in front of the Supreme Court.

According to her trainer of nearly two decades, “she works just as hard in the gym as she does on the bench.”

She discussed her views on abortion rights and sexual equality in a 2009 New York Times interview, in which she said regarding abortion that "the basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman."

So far, she’s never missed a day of work. “RBG has her own metric for when it’s time to go. ‘When I forget the names of cases that I once could recite at the drop of a hat,’ she said, ‘I will know.’'


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes


My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman's equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.

I do hope that some of my dissents will one day be the law.

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