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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Who Championed Women's Rights at U.S. Supreme Court Dies at 87

After confronting entrenched sexism in the legal profession, Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a heroine for the American left to rise to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she spent 27 years on the bench championing gender equality and other liberal causes.
Ginsburg, who died of pancreatic cancer complications on Friday at the age of 87, was a powerful advocate for women’s rights-winning major gender-discrimination cases before the Supreme Court-before Democratic President Bill Clinton named the highest U.S. judicial body in 1993. The diminutive dynamo became the premier liberal face of the court.
Arising from a working-class family in the Brooklyn district of New York City, Ginsburg defied animosity toward women in the male-dominated law school worlds and the legal profession to become only the second woman ever to serve at the Supreme Court in nine.
Ginsburg became something of a pop icon for American liberals during her final years on the bench, the subject of the 2018 feature film “On the Basis of Sex,” the 2018 Academy Award-nominated “RBG” documentary and sketches on the famous “Saturday Night Live” TV show-even inspiring an action figure.
In later years, her small stature-she stood 5-foot, 1-inch tall (155 cm)-and fragility belied an outsized persona and clout. Inspired by the late American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., fans called her “The Notorious R.B.G.,”
“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks,” Ginsburg said in the documentary, summing up her lifelong work for equality between the sexes.
Ginsburg was a consistent vote in support of liberal causes in court on other issues, including protecting abortion rights, extending gay rights, upholding the health care reform of Obamacare and promoting the interests of disadvantaged and disenfranchised ethnic minorities.
Her death offers an opening for Republican President Donald Trump to make his third appointment to the court and increase his conservative majority to 6-3.
Ginsburg had suffered from a variety of health problems. She revealed in July that she had a recurrence of cancer in 2019 and 2009 after bouts with pancreatic cancer. In 2018, she has survived bouts of lung cancer and in 1999, colon cancer.
She remained vigorous even amid these health scares, seen in the 2018 documentary working out and lifting weights with a personal trainer while wearing a blue sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “SUPER DIVA.”
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter made Ginsburg a federal appeals judge, and 13 years later, Clinton elevated her to the Supreme Court. She joined Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the bench, who in 1981 became the first woman to hold justice. Two more women had been elected to the high court during her tenure: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Ginsburg, with an impish grin, always gave the same response when asked how many women there should be on the court: ‘Nine.’
Before entering the courts, Ginsburg was an intellectually fierce lawyer in New York and New Jersey who suffered her mother’s death shortly before graduating from high school and went on to be elected to the law reviews at both Harvard and Columbia Law Schools.
She won five of six cases of gender discrimination before the Supreme Court in the 1970s, in fields as varied as military and social security advantages, property tax and jury duty rules.


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