The notorious R.B.G., more formerly known as Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States , took her oath of office in August of 1993. Contrary to what some might believe, RBG wasn’t the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. She followed Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
While you may be thinking, “Okay, we have O’Connor appointed in 1981 by a conservative president, why do we need to appoint more? O’Connor provided the female perspective we need.” There is more than one female perspective to be considered. A popular quote given by Ginsburg states, “When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘when there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”
Both O’Connor and Ginsburg have opposed each other in cases, with O’Connor being more conservative. After O’Connor retired in 2006, many have pushed for Ginsburg to retire, but she has maintained that she is determined to stay on. These two inspirational ladies have been followed by Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayor and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. All these women have had differing views and have been swing votes at some point or another.
Ginsburg is notorious as a “dissenter”. A dissenter in the supreme court is the one, or few, that disagree with the majority and usually write a dissent explaining their minority opinion. Although those who dissent may be overruled, their remarks and grievances are still recorded and acknowledged by the court, as well as the public.
RBG is a household name due to her no-nonsense attitude in the court, her wit and sense of humor and her perseverance in the gym.
While Ginsburg has suffered pancreatic cancer, the death of her beloved husband, fractured ribs and benign tumors in her lungs, she has never missed an oral debate session. She has proven to be just as — if not more — present and determined as her male counterparts.
Like sexism, ageism is proven to be baseless when elders like Ginsburg stay driven, sharp and focused at 86 years old. Ginsburg shows gumption and grit and stands tall, figuratively speaking, as the associate justice stands at only 5 feet, one inch tall.
As proven by departed Senator John McCain and former associate justice Sandra Day O’Connor, mindful and dignified politicians will be open about their health and step down when they know it’s time.
Ginsburg has proven time and time again that having a woman sitting at the table when decisions are made is a necessity. People, no matter their gender identity or age, do not deserve to have their success paralyzed by ageism or sexism in any degree of work.
Featured Illustrations: Austin Banzon