What RBG Left Behind

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By Mason Roepe, Staff Writer

Ginsburg seated in her robe
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon of the Supreme Court

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020 at the age of 87. Before becoming a justice, Ginsburg graduated from Cornell University, enrolled in Harvard Law School, and earned her law degree at Columbia Law School, tying for first in her class. After law school, Ginsburg co-founded and led the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU and argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, winning five. Nominated by Bill Clinton in 1993 and confirmed by the senate 96-3, she was the second female ever to sit on the Supreme Court.

While on the bench, Justice Ginsburg wrote many important dissenting and majority opinions, some notable cases include: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (a case involving gender based pay discrimination where Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion helped create the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009), United States v. Virginia (another gender discrimination case where Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion, saying that the Virginia Military Institute’s tradition of male exclusive admission was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment), City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York (Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in this case to determine that the Oneida Indian Nation of New York buying back pieces of property that had previously been a reservation did not return it to its tax-exempt reservation status), and the recent Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (where Justice Ginsburg did write neither a dissenting nor majority opinion, but a concurring opinion where she agreed with the majority, but provided different reasonings).

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed on October 26 by the senate to sit on the Supreme Court as Ginsburg’s replacement. President Trump’s previous two nominations to the Supreme Court have been to replace conservative justices, however this time it will be to replace a liberal judge, making the court lean conservative six to three. Justice John Roberts has been considered a swing vote as a conservative justice when the court was 5-4, however, now that there is a solid majority, even if Roberts sides with liberal judges, the conservatives would still be in the majority.

Featured Photo: Supreme Court of the United States