Remembering Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an example to us all. Sure, she had her downfalls and her mistakes, but she was human.

Justice Ginsburg is a role model for women everywhere. She developed an outstanding legal and public career in a time where it was very hard for women to achieve that. She helped to pave the way for many female lawyers, judges and political figures.

She was a minority on the Supreme Court, even more so after Justice Sandra Day O’Conner’s retirement, and made her opinions known. 

She fought for what she believed in and was unafraid to dissent.

Ginsburg had spent a majority of her career advocating for gender equality and women’s rights and was seen as a trailblazer to many. 

She had also been the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same-sex marriage. 

Justice Ginsburg had graduated from Harvard and Columbia law schools, a professor at Rutgers University, and the first woman to earn a tenure at Columbia University School of Law. In 1993 President Bill Clinton nominated her for the Supreme Court, she was confirmed by a vote of 96 to three.

She became the second woman Supreme Court Justice. 

Justice Ginsburg had battled sexism, both legally and personally, and continued this battle until her death on Sept. 18, 2020.

Her accomplishments and impacts on our society is too numerous to list. But I can confidently say she made her mark on history as well as many individual citizens. 

In fact, Justice Ginsburg is a part of Valpo history as she had visited the Valpo campus in Sept. of 1998. She had spoken at the Chapel of the Resurrection about women in the Supreme Court. 

During her speech to students, faculty and staff she urged women to “make our influence not momentous, but commonplace.” Justice Ginsburg’s speech had covered the history of women as she discussed the “known and unknown, who made it easier for us”. 

Justice Ginsburg believed in the importance of a diversity of background and opinion of the Supreme Court, even telling Valpo students “A system of justice, is indeed the richer for the diversity of its members. It is the poorer if all its members are cast from the same mold.”

Her speech then evolved to the influence of women in the present day (of the late 1990s) and she concluded with a question and answer session. 

During this session she was asked whether she believed there was a real possibility of a woman president in her lifetime. “There are more and more women coming into politics,” Justice Ginsburg replied. 

Justice Ginsburg also gave the Valpo community a glimpse into her private life as she ended her speech with a personal story about her granddaughter and nephew. Her nephew, a high school junior, had interviewed her for a project on feminism. Her seven year old granddaughter had wanted to participate as well, leading to her nephew asking her what she wants to do when she grows up. 

“I want to be President of the United States of the World,” Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter replied.   

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