29 April 2018
One of the greatest achievements for those who dedicate their life serving in the Judicial System is to get appointed to the United States Supreme Court. When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the President has the authority to nominate a candidate to fill the spot. After a candidate is nominated, the Senate will hold a hearing and vote to confirm. They must have a majority vote to confirm the nomination. There are no requirements set by the Constitution on the age, education, profession, or native-born citizenship for Justices (Supreme Court). The Constitution allows Justices to remain in office as long as they want, and a Justice can only be removed by impeachment.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the youngest daughter of Nathen and Celia Bader. Bader Ginsburg grew up in a low-income and working-class family and neighborhood. Her mother died the day before Bader Ginsburg graduated from high school from cancer (Ruth). After high school, Bader Ginsburg attended Cornell University to earn a bachelor’s degree in government. The same year she graduated, Bader Ginsburg married law student Martin D. Ginsburg. Just after having their first child, Martin was drafted into the military. Two years after being in the military, Martin was discharged and the family moved to Cambridge, MA so he and Bader Ginsburg could attend Harvard. At Harvard, Bader Ginsburg proved herself to be a contender in a male-dominated environment, and become the first female member of the Harvard Law Review (Ruth). In 1956, Bader Ginsburg’s husband Mark was diagnosed with testicular cancer so, she would take notes for him from his classes. After Mark recovered, he graduated from law school and got a job at a New York law firm. Bader Ginsburg moved to New York and transferred to Columbia Law School. She graduated first in her class.
After graduating from Columbia, Bader Ginsburg worked as a clerk for U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmier for two years. She went on to teach at Rutgers University Law School from 1963 to 1972. Bader Ginsburg left Rutgers and went to teach at Columbia for six years. At Columbia Bader Ginsburg became the first female in school history to earn tenure (Ruth). While teaching Bader Ginsburg acted as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. As the director, she argued six cases on gender equality in front of the U.S. Supreme Court (Ruth). She won five cases. President Jimmy Carter appointed Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She worked for the Court of Appeals until President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. Bader Ginsburg filled the seat of Justice Byron White. The Senate confirmed her with a 96-3 vote (Ruth).
One of the biggest cases in past years is Obergefell v. Hodges. The case started when groups of same-sex couples sued state agencies in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee to challenge the states to ban on same-sex marriage or refusal to recognize their marriages (Oyez). All of the plaintiffs argued that the ban violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights. The trial courts favored the plaintiffs in all cases but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the decisions and held that the state’s ban didn’t violate the Fourteenth Amendment (Oyez). The case was brought up to the Supreme Court and on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment gives the right to marry as one of the fundamental liberties. Also, that this right applies to not just opposite-sex couples but to same-sex couples. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of five Justices who voted in the majority.
One case where Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted as a minority was Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire ; Rubber Company in 2007. Lilly Ledbetter sued her employer Goodyear Tire ; Rubber Company for gender discrimination (Webber). Ledbetter had worked there for 19 years when she found out that her male counterparts were being paid more than she was. Ledbetter argued that the inconsistency of pay violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Webber). Goodyear claimed the same clause states that discrimination complaints must be filled within 180 days of the violation (Webber). The Supreme held up the rule and voted 5-4 in favor of Goodyear. Bader Ginsburg voted in favor of Lilly Ledbetter. She disagreed with the decision because of the fact that Ledbetter didn’t know that she was being paid less at the time so she couldn’t file a complaint earlier (Webber).
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a very inspirational person. She faced many challenges from coming from a low-income, working-class family to having to take care of her daughter and sick husband all while getting through school. Bader Ginsburg worked her way up to the Supreme Court with putting up with the way society viewed and treated women at the time. She has voted on some of the biggest cases in the country history that changed our laws and have they been interpreted. She was the second female Justice on the Court at the time and is now one of four females to be on the Supreme Court. She has shown the world that anyone can do anything.
Oyez. (2018). Obergefell v. Hodges. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Biography. (2018). https://www.biography.com/people/ruth-bader-ginsburg-9312041Supreme Court of the United States. (2018). General Information. https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/faq_general.aspxWebber, Emma Sarran. (2017) 4 Essential Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Rulings to Know About. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/ruth-bader-ginsburg-supreme-court-rulings-to-know-about