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The Notorious RBG

RBG was an amazing person and we're all going to miss her.

Who was Ruth Bader Ginsberg, AKA The Notorious RBG? Well, as you all know, there was a time when women did not have the same rights as men. And to be honest, we're still fighting that battle, but that's not today's story. This story is about a woman who fought so hard for fair treatment toward women. And today, the world is a better place for it.

Born Joan Ruth Bader, RBG was Jewish, and her family practiced the religion. There were not many schools that women went to at the time, but Ruth got into Cornell University on a full scholarship. While there, she met Martin Ginsberg, who eventually became a tax attorney. He always encouraged and fully believed in Ruth. Ruth graduated, and they married soon after.

They had a daughter Jane, who is now also a lawyer, and Marty and Ruth both attended Harvard Law School. Ruth juggled the tasks of being a student (and being the first woman on the Harvard Law Review), mother, and wife. This was even more challenging when Marty was diagnosed with testicular cancer. When Marty recovered, he got a job at a law firm located in New York City, and so Ruth transferred to Columbia Law School.

Even with her intelligence, it was very hard for Ruth to get a job because of her gender and the fact that she was a mother. Luckily, some people defended Ruth and she got a clerkship. In 1963 she was hired by Rutger's School of Law to be an assistant professor—and get this!—she was asked if she would take a low salary because her husband had a good job.

Now 1970 is where it gets really interesting! That's when Ruth really started sticking up for women's rights. The first step was small: instructing a student panel discussion about women's rights. Then she published a few law review articles about it, and taught a group about it. Ruth also partnered with the ACLU to draft briefs in two federal cases, the first of which was brought to her attention by Marty. The one that I'm talking about was Charles E. Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, where they denied single men a tax deduction for serving as a caregiver to their families. Only Ruth and Marty found a fault in that idea. (Watch On The Basis of Sex for more info) The second, however, was Reed v. Reed, a very big milestone for feminists everywhere. Reed v. Reed stopped a law because it violated the Equal Protection Clause.

In the remainder of the 1970's, she worked hard, and was a leading gender equality figure. During that decade, she went and argued in front of the Supreme Court six times, and won five! Then, in 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed RBG to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C. I'm glad I didn't have to say that aloud, because that's quite a mouthful. Anyway, that's basically just another federal court. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, she delivered the Madison Lecture at New York University Law School, offering a critique of the reasoning—though not the ultimate holding—of Roe v. Wade (1973), the famous case in which the Supreme Court found a constitutional right of women to choose to have an abortion.

In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsberg became Justice Ginsberg when she was nominated to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton to replace retiring Justice Byron White. Now I'm going to time-lapse the rest. Justice Ginsberg started getting called the Notorious RBG after the rapper the Notorious B.I.G. She is very famous for her dissents (which basically means her disagreements), and just straight out rocked for the rest of her days!

As you probably all know, Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently died, and I'm only going to say this quickly, but I might as well say it: the Republicans disagreed when Obama was going to replace a justice in 2016 because they said it was too close to the election, but they're nominating their own people now that RBG's place is empty. And get this! They're doing this closer to the election than Obama was. All I can say is this: the Government is filled with hypocrites.

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