Harvard Law School remembers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Credit: Phil Farnsworth

 

“Justice Ginsburg personified the best of what it meant to be a judge. She brought a deep intellectual and personal integrity to everything she did,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Her powerful and unyielding commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice under law place her among the great Justices in the annals of the Court. She was also one of the most impactful lawyers of the twentieth-century, whose historic work advocating against gender discrimination and for equal rights for all opened doors for countless people and transformed our society. She was an inspiring and courageous human being.  We have lost a giant.”

A pioneering advocate for women’s rights, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-’58, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died on Sept. 18. She was 87. With her passing has come an outpouring of remembrances and testaments to her transformative presence on the Court.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg left behind a powerful environmental legacy

Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who recently passed away at the age of 87, was best known for championing women’s rights. But she also leaves behind a remarkable environmental legacy. Harvard Law Professor Richard Lazarus, author of “The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court,” believes the “classic example” of Ginsburg’s contribution to environmental jurisprudence was the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, which is widely considered the most important environmental case ever decided by the US Supreme Court. This was the case in which the court established that EPA had authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, an idea that EPA itself had rejected. No less importantly, according to Lazarus, the case established that a plaintiff who alleged climate injury had the right to bring a case in federal court — “a hugely significant decision in its own right,” according to Lazarus. In several other cases, Ginsburg not only cast the decisive note, she wrote the opinion for the court, which Lazarus says was even more notable. Of the cases for which Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the majority, he adds, the most significant was Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw. In this case, a group of citizens brought a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act alleging hundreds of violations of mercury emissions rules by the Laidlaw industrial facility in the area around South Carolina’s North Tyger River. The Court of Appeals had held that the environmentalists lacked the requisite injury to bring the lawsuit, but the Supreme Court reversed the previous ruling. “Justice Ginsburg wrote a tour de force in that opinion,” Lazarus says. Her opinion not only established that these particular environmental plaintiffs had standing to bring their particular Clean Water Act suit.

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Will the Liberal Justices Find New Alliances?

Andrew Crespo, a Harvard Law School professor, discusses how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death leaves the court’s three remaining liberals looking for new alliances. Steve Sanders, a professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, discusses how two conservative justices used the court’s rejection of an appeal, to complain that the court’s 2015 same-sex marriage ruling threatens religious liberty. June Grasso hosts.

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Harvard Law School honors Ginsburg

During her first year as the sole woman on the US Supreme Court in 2006, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a foreword for a biography of the 19th-century lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood and presented the book to a new law clerk in her chambers. On Thursday, the clerk, Daphna Renan, now a professor at Harvard Law School, highlighted the foreword as an example of how Ginsburg broke barriers for women while simultaneously honoring her predecessors in the fight for equality. “Justice Ginsburg was a giant in the law, a luminary, and a leader, as you’ve heard, but she was always … keenly aware of those who paved the way for her even as she trained her sights on how she could better pave it for others,” Renan said. She delivered the remarks during a virtual Harvard Law School event honoring Ginsburg, who died last Friday…Harvard Law’s current dean, John F. Manning, said the institution regrets the discrimination Ginsburg endured on campus. “It is hard to imagine a more consequential life, a life of greater meaning, and more lasting impact. And Justice Ginsburg did all of this while carrying the heavy weight imposed by discrimination,” he said. “To our eternal regret, she encountered it here at Harvard Law School.” The virtual event included tributes from Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard Law professors Vicki Jackson, Martha Minow, and Michael Klarman…Brown-Nagin’s remarks explored what Ginsburg’s death means to the civil rights movement and comparisons between Ginsburg and the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black man to serve on the Supreme Court. Beyond fighting for women’s rights, Brown-Nagin said, Ginsburg had a deep understanding of racial discrimination and poured that insight into cases dealing with race. She cited Ginsburg’s dissent in a 1995 school desegregation case in Missouri in which the justice wrote it was too soon to curtail efforts to combat racial segregation given the state’s history of racial inequality. “The Court stresses that the present remedial programs have been in place for seven years,” Ginsburg wrote. “But compared to more than two centuries of firmly entrenched official discrimination, the experience with the desegregation remedies ordered by the [lower court] has been evanescent.” Ginsburg was, Brown-Nagin said, a “tremendous intellect, a courageous human being, and a giant of the law.”

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It’s not just Roe v Wade. Trump’s Supreme Court pick could challenge Brown v Board of Education

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death leaves an opening in the court’s four-strong liberal bloc, which could be filled by Donald Trump and the Republican Senate majority. Democrats and women’s rights advocates are once again sounding the alarm about the damage that could be wrought by a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Partisanship and heated political rhetoric have accompanied nearly every Supreme Court confirmation since the Senate’s 1987 vote to reject Judge — and Watergate villain — Robert Bork, concealing what legal experts and political insiders say is a pattern of Trump nominees declining to support one of the highest court’s bedrock civil rights rulings. The Supreme Court first affirmed a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade. Ever since then, Republicans and their religious fundamentalist allies have made packing the judiciary with like-minded jurists a high priority. They have redoubled their efforts in the 18 years since George H W Bush appointee David Souter joined Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor in upholding Roe’s “essential holding” in Planned Parenthood v. Casey…Another veteran observer of the judicial confirmation process, Harvard Law School Emeritus Professor Laurence Tribe, said the trend of judicial nominees refusing to endorse Brown is both unprecedented and troubling because of what it could signal about those jurists’ views on other significant constitutional questions. “No federal court nominee, other than these Trump nominees, in the 66 years since 1954 of whom I’m aware — and certainly none who was confirmed — has declined to endorse that landmark ruling as correctly decided,” Tribe said. “That Trump nominees have routinely done so is simply jaw-dropping, and it’s a short step from that refusal to an insistence on being agnostic about whether the Bill of Rights binds the states by virtue of the 14th Amendment or whether the Equal Protection Clause applies to women.”

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A New Justice Wouldn’t Guarantee a Pro-Trump Election Verdict

An article by Noah FeldmanEveryone understands why Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are in such a rush to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a new Supreme Court justice: It’s the election, stupid. The date that matters isn’t January 20, Inauguration Day. It’s November 3, Election Day. The president and Senate majority leader want their justice in place in case we see a contested election in a replay of Bush v. Gore. If this prospect terrifies you, your fear is not unreasonable. Until Ginsburg died, those of us who spend our time worrying about scenarios in which the election goes to the courts had some partial solace for our concerns: Chief Justice John Roberts doesn’t want the court to be seen as partisan. Yes, he’s a conservative. Nominated by George W. Bush, he’s had an obvious willingness to issue rulings that have helped Republicans — most notably, his decision eviscerating the Voting Rights Act in the 2013 case of Shelby County v. Holder — but Roberts cares a lot about the reputation of the Supreme Court. It was therefore possible to think that, as the swing vote, Roberts would shy away from joining a conservative majority in a 5-4 decision handing the presidency to Trump. Such a vote would have undermined the chief justice’s whole project of protecting the court from appearing to be a subsidiary of the Republican Party. That’s one reason leading election law scholars like Professor Nathaniel Persily of Stanford Law School, who I interviewed on my podcast this month, expect that Roberts would not want to throw a contested election to Trump. The problem, of course, is that if Ginsburg is replaced by a hard-line conservative, Roberts will no longer be the swing vote. In a contested election, he could vote with the court’s three remaining liberals and still be in dissent.

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Republicans Would Regret Replacing Ginsburg Before Election

An article by Noah FeldmanPresident Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, immediately announcing their intent to nominate and confirm a replacement. Tempting as it is for Republicans to install a third Supreme Court justice during Trump’s first term, it would nevertheless be a serious mistake — and potentially a historic one — for Senate Republicans to go along. The result would not only likely be the long-term erosion of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as a third branch of government, but also a backlash so strong it would hurt the Republican Party itself. The reason for Republicans to hold off isn’t the extraordinary hypocrisy they’re showing by pushing a rapid confirmation now, despite holding Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open in 2016. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where voters will punish a party for arrant hypocrisy. Republicans and Democrats alike all understood that McConnell was making a specious argument when he claimed the March nomination of Judge Merrick Garland was too close to the November election to deserve a vote. We all knew it was power politics then; and we all know it is power politics now. To be clear, Trump has the constitutional authority to nominate a new justice right now and the Senate has the authority to vote — or not vote — on that nominee. The arguments pro and con are moral and political, as I’ve noted before, not legal. In a rational version of Senate confirmation politics, the party in the majority thinks about how its actions will affect the other party when it takes control. Ideally, that norm leads to balance and some fairness: I don’t take advantage of you so that in turn, you won’t take advantage of me. In our current world of power politics, the norms have eroded to the point of near-disappearance. What that leaves is medium-term self-interest about what the other side will do immediately, as opposed to what both sides would do if norms of fairness applied.

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Remembering Justice Ginsburg

A podcast by Noah FeldmanRichard Primus, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a former clerk of Justice Ginsburg, discusses what it was like to work for the Justice, her legacy, and what comes next.

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How Ginsburg’s Seat is Saved

An article by Lawrence LessigThere’s no doubt that the death of Justice Ginsburg has radically changed the dynamics of the 2020 election. But there is no reason to believe that Justice Ginsburg’s seat is lost to a Trump appointee. Mitch McConnell is playing a difficult game. At each stage between now and January 20, his actions are significantly constrained. It would make no sense for McConnell to bring a nominee to the floor before the election. That’s no gain for the Republicans, but only significant costs. It’s no gain, because by filling the seat, McConnell eliminates the turnout effect that this event is certainly going to have for Republicans. There are many who were on the fence about Trump who will now turn out for the Supreme Court seat alone. If that seat is filled, they stay home. And it’s a significant cost because key Republicans would face a backlash at the polls for reversing themselves on election-year appointments. Susan Collins most obviously. Maybe even McConnell himself (though who can begin to understand Kentucky voters?). Bottom line: I don’t expect we’ll see any nominee on the Senate floor before November 3. If Trump wins, game over, obviously. If he doesn’t win, then everything depends on whether the Senate has been flipped as well. If the Democrats have won all three contests — the House, Senate, and White House—then the path to stopping McConnell in the Senate is clear: The Democrats declare that they will add four seats to the Court if there’s a lame-duck appointment, and they promise they won’t if there isn’t. That deal is fair and right. What McConnell did with Garland was wrong. The hypocrisy in now reversing the “principle” (as he then put it) that blocked Garland adds insult to injury. Bad behavior must be punished — especially in politics. If they steal two, they should lose four.

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Ex-RBG law clerk: My two favorite stories about Ginsburg

An article by Michael KlarmanRuth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. I had the good fortune to clerk for her when she was on the DC Circuit. Like most of Ginsburg’s law clerks, I relished the experience, admiring her legal brilliance, learning from her exemplary writing skills, and both respecting and liking her as a person. But as any of us would tell you, Ginsburg — extraordinary as she was — was not an ordinary, down-to-earth sort of person. Conversations with her could be awkward because she always thought carefully before speaking, did not waste words, and declined to engage in small talk. Thus, conversations with her often featured long pauses, while you tried to figure out if she was finished speaking and it was now your turn, or she was still formulating her thoughts. You certainly did not want to interrupt her in mid-thought. I have two favorite stories about Ginsburg from my clerkship that I like to share with my students. I’ll recount the first of them up here. Both have to do with sports — an obsession of mine that the Justice did not share. Soon after her appointment to the DC Circuit, the Washington football team won the Super Bowl, and there was a celebratory parade down Constitution Avenue, which runs right beside the courthouse. Ginsburg asked her secretary what the noise was about. “Why, judge, that’s the Super Bowl parade,” her secretary replied. To which Ginsburg responded, “What’s the Super Bowl?” Ginsburg was the leading women’s rights lawyer of the 1970s, the decade when the Supreme Court first recognized that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed sex equality. When President Clinton nominated her to the high court, he rightly compared her contributions to women’s rights to those of the great NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall to civil rights. Ginsburg’s life encapsulated what the professional world was like for women 60 years ago and how much it has changed since then. When she entered Harvard Law School in 1956, she was one of only nine women in a class of more than 500.

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3 Times Ginsburg Led The Way On Environmental Law

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be best remembered for her fierce support of gender equality and civil rights, but she made her mark on environmental law as well, authoring opinions that established citizens’ right to sue polluters under the Clean Water Act and the government’s right to regulate cross-state air pollution. Justice Ginsburg wasn’t necessarily a leader on the high court in regard to environmental law, but green groups knew that she would be a sympathetic ear and a fairly reliable vote, according to Jody Freeman, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of its Environmental and Energy Law Program. “She appreciated the challenges agencies like EPA face when trying to execute their duties,” Freeman said, referring to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “She read statutes with an eye to their purpose, and she respected agency expertise.” Timothy Bishop, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, said that although Justice Ginsburg didn’t take the lead on many environmental cases, she reliably recognized the government’s right to regulate on environmental issues. He cited Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , which established carbon dioxide as a pollutant eligible for federal regulation, and Rapanos v. EPA , in which the court’s four liberal justices took a broad view of the government’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. “Her environmental record is fairly slim for so long a tenure in the court, and you do not get the impression that she had the passion for environmental issues that, say, Justice [John Paul] Stevens had, compared to her record on civil rights issues, on which her liberal icon status is based,” Bishop said Here are three of the most important environmental law opinions Justice Ginsburg authored.

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RBG’s Everlasting Impact on Environmental Jurisprudence

An article by Richard LazarusThe center of gravity of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fame is justifiably focused on her pioneering work both as a young attorney and later as a justice for gender equality. Ginsburg’s own career embodied the women’s liberation movement and she clearly inspired generations of women as well as men to follow her example. What is less appreciated is the significant role that Justice Ginsburg played in environmental law on the high court, and how that record, in turn, reveals what made her such a great justice. Ginsburg came to the court in 1993 with no particular reputation on environmental issues. She had never practiced environmental law as an attorney and while serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she displayed no particular affinity toward environmental protection. If anything, then-Judge Ginsburg enjoyed a straight-shooter, pro-business reputation. Business community support of her Supreme Court nomination partly explains why Ginsburg was so easily confirmed by the Senate, 96-3, notwithstanding her obvious liberal views on otherwise potentially controversial social issues such as abortion rights. Once on the court, however, Ginsburg quickly became an important vote in environmental cases. What is most telling about her environmental law record, however, is its underscoring of both her integrity and her extraordinary skills as a jurist. Most simply put, although Justice Ginsburg’s fame is understandably rooted in her championing gender equality, the justice’s greatest contributions were rooted not in her ideology but in her skills as one of the most talented lawyers ever to serve on the court. Environmental advocates appearing before Ginsburg knew the justice was never a vote they could assume. Her vote always had to be earned. And the only way to earn that vote would be the force and persuasiveness of their legal arguments. The justice’s vote would not be decided by whatever sympathy she might privately harbor for the environmental protection policies they were promoting. Ginsburg was a progressive liberal, to be sure, but she was first and foremost an outstanding lawyer who applied her extraordinarily analytic skills with rigor and precision to the legal issues before the court.

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RBG’s Greatest Insight

An article by Francesca ProcacciniJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s time on the Court was often characterized as a pitched battle between the principles of equality and individual liberty. Conservative majorities have tended to elevate individual autonomy rights over equal treatment and equal opportunity in our politics, our workplaces, and our schools. The liberal bloc, by contrast, has tended to oppose this subversion of equality to liberty, and pushed to recuperate equality as the primary value guiding constitutional law. Justice Ginsburg was in a camp of her own. She long grasped that these two great principles of American democracy are not at odds, but rather integral to each other. She recognized that equal opportunity is vital to self-determination, and that personal liberty is secure only insofar as society respects each of us as equals. In short, she did not fall victim to the false dichotomy of equality and liberty, but worked to advance equal liberty under law. A little-known but momentous case, Christian Legal Society Chapter v. Martinez, exemplifies Ginsburg’s vision of equal liberty. Decided on the second-to-last day of the blockbuster 2009–10 term—one that included major decisions about campaign finance, gun rights, and criminal justice—this case has not generally been recognized as one of Ginsburg’s seminal opinions. But it contains all the hallmarks of the justice’s brilliance. It is a steady and cautious advancement of the law, faithful to precedent and situated within a pion to civil procedure, that ultimately reconciles with deft agility the seemingly competing values of religious liberty and equal educational opportunity.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered by entire generations of lawyers

She entered Harvard Law School in 1956 as just one of a few women enrolled in a class of 500. A few years later, the woman who would one day sit on the US Supreme Court was famously rejected by dozens of New York City law firms because of her gender. But over the decades that followed, Ruth Bader Ginsburg built a remarkable career as a legal and cultural icon who used her intelligence and courage to fight fearlessly for social justice. And after her death was announced on Friday, entire generations of lawyers — women and men alike — grieved for a jurist whose legacy somehow transcended even the highest court in the nation. “Justice Ginsburg personified the best of what it meant to be a judge,” Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning said in a statement. “She brought a deep intellectual and personal integrity to everything she did. Her powerful and unyielding commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice under law place her among the great Justices in the annals of the Court.” Martha Minow, a former dean of Harvard Law School, recalled Ginsburg’s impact on her own legal career. “I am one of countless people she directly encouraged and deeply inspired to use reason and argument in service of justice and humanity. Justice Ginsburg also showed that it is possible to build deep and meaningful friendships with people despite severe disagreements. At this time of deep social and political divisions, there is much to learn from her life and her commitments,” Minow said in a statement…Nancy Gertner, a retired US district court judge and a professor at Harvard Law School, said Ginsburg had inspired generations of women and wound up a reluctant pop culture icon while approaching the law as “a craftsperson who cared about the court’s precedents and was going to work within them.” “Ruth Ginsburg was more than just a brilliant scholar, and a liberal, which is what the press reduced her to,” Gertner said by phone. “She essentially created the law of gender and race discrimination. From the time she was a lawyer, a litigator, she was raising issues about the nuance of discrimination.”

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Ginsburg Cleared Path to Include the Excluded

An article by Cass Sunstein: It was 1985, I think. The Federalist Society was hosting a conference in Washington on equality. I was a young professor, the token liberal on a panel, and its least distinguished member. The experience was brutal. Professor Paul Bator, a famous scholar who had been my teacher not long before, was on the panel, and at one point he whispered in my ear. “Just stop talking,” he said. “No one in the room wants to hear you.” Humiliated, I retreated to my hotel room. At about 9 p.m., the phone rang. The voice on the other line said: “Hi Cass, it’s Ruth Ginsburg. We haven’t met, but I wanted to say that you did a wonderful job. It was a tough panel and such a tough crowd — you were great!” We talked for a long time, about equality, the Constitution, rationality and respectful disagreement. I hadn’t done a wonderful job, not close, but she sensed my vulnerability and she wanted to help. That defined much of her life, as a person and as a justice. She was kind; she was also steely. She was serious; she also had a twinkle in her eye, and she was full of mischief. Two opinions help explain what she was all about. The first, decided in 1996, was United States v. Virginia, in which she wrote the Court’s historic opinion striking down the refusal of the Virginia Military Institute to admit women. She declared that the Constitution does not allow federal or state governments to deny women the “equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in and contribute to society based on their individual talents and capacities.” In defending its discriminatory practice, Virginia pointed to the differences between men and women. Ginsburg responded that those differences are “cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the members of either sex or for artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity.” They may not be invoked, she wrote, “to create or perpetuate the legal, social, and economic inferiority of women.”

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Harvard Law School Memorial Honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A growing collection of flowers, posters, hand-written notes and low-burning candles have accumulated on the steps of the Harvard Law School library, a makeshift memorial assembled by Harvard students and admirers of the late alumnus and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87. Leaning in to read the notes, second-year Harvard Law student Jin Lee ‘22 took stock of the vigil Sunday, after two days of reflecting on Ginsburg’s legacy. “I’m just really grateful for what she has done for women in this country and for women at this school,” Lee said. “She has definitely influenced my decision to become a lawyer. She has shown me that as long as you keep pushing on the limits, they will expand. And that’s what I hope to do.” Ginsburg enrolled at the law school in 1956, entering into a class of 552 men and only eight other women. The dean at the time famously asked the nine women, at a dinner party, why they deserved to take a place at the university that could be taken by a man. A plaque in Harvard’s Austin Hall now commemorates another discrimination those women faced: the building contained the only women’s restroom on campus, which meant female students had to run across campus to do their business and run back to make it in time for class… Notes at the memorial nodded to Ginsburg’s trailblazing legacy and the difficulties she faced leading up to her appointment as the second woman on the bench of the nation’s highest court. “Thank you for inspiring generations of women,” one note reads, scrawled on a post-it. “Lawyers and all else. We lost a hero today.”

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Harvard Law students, former clerk remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg

… Ginsburg’s life and work have continued to inspire generations behind her, including many students who walk in her footsteps at Harvard Law School. Maura Smyles, “My year was I believe the second year in HLS history to have more women than men in our class, so in that sense she’s a trailblazer.” … Current students created this memorial outside of Harvard Law School Library. Catherine Walker-Jacks said, “I just wanted to create a place for people to mourn her and to share the impact that she’s had on our lives.”

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Ex-RBG law clerk: My two favorite stories about Ginsburg

An op-ed by Michael Klarman: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. I had the good fortune to clerk for her when she was on the DC Circuit. … I have two favorite stories about Ginsburg from my clerkship that I like to share with my students. I’ll recount the first of them up here. Both have to do with sports — an obsession of mine that the Justice did not share. Soon after her appointment to the DC Circuit, the Washington football team won the Super Bowl, and there was a celebratory parade down Constitution Avenue, which runs right beside the courthouse. Ginsburg asked her secretary what the noise was about. “Why, judge, that’s the Super Bowl parade,” her secretary replied. To which Ginsburg responded, “What’s the Super Bowl?”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered locally, at Harvard

The time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent at Harvard Law School during the 1950s presented challenges in and out of the classroom. …On Saturday, mourners gathered at the site where the young Ginsburg endured those pivotal trials and grieved the jurist, who persevered her way to the US Supreme Court, opening doors of opportunity for women and others at stops along the way. “She’s the reason we’re here,” said Carolina Rabinowicz, 24, a first-year Harvard Law School student from New York, who visited a makeshift memorial outside Langdell Hall, a tear staining her blue face mask. Catherine Walker-Jacks, 25, another first-year student, said her class was reading a 2011 dissent authored by Ginsburg only hours before her death was announced Friday. … Annie Whitney, 24, a first-year Harvard law student from North Carolina, said Ginsburg’s contributions are deeply felt. “RBG’s legacy,” she said, “is one that so many carry forward.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg was all I wanted to be

An op-ed by Nancy Gertner: I was in my late 20s, attending a conference for women lawyers in the 1970s. I sat in the front row of a large auditorium for the keynote address. The speaker was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project. I was mesmerized. She was all that I wanted to be. To devote one’s life to the fight for civil rights, to use legal skills to effect justice, better yet to make a difference — I could think of nothing greater. And I was not alone; generations of civil rights lawyers looked to emulate her. Ginsburg’s vision of gender equality was decades ahead of her time. It went beyond just empowering women to compete for “men’s” roles. While stereotypes distorted women’s view of what was possible, they also impeded men, no less trapped in gender-based assumptions. Equality meant that both sexes should be free to assume all of society’s roles without preconceptions. My son can be a caregiver; my daughter can be an executive. When the school administrators wanted Ginsburg to come to school to discuss her son’s misconduct, she famously said, “This child has two parents.”

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‘We have lost a giant’: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-58, whose lifelong fight for equal rights helped pave the way for women to take on high-profile roles in business, government, the military, and the Supreme Court, died on Sept. 18. She was 87. “Justice Ginsburg personified the best of what it meant to be a judge. She brought a deep intellectual and personal integrity to everything she did,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “… We have lost a giant.” … “Very few individuals in history come close to the extraordinary and significant role played by Justice Ginsburg in the pursuit of justice before she joined the bench,” said former Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard. … “The Constitution’s heart aches at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing,” Laurence Tribe ’66, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. … Harvard Law School Professor Daphna Renan, who served as a law clerk for Justice Ginsburg during the 2006-2007 term, said: “RBG was tenacious, unflappable, and deeply wise.

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At Harvard Law School, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Displayed the Steel She’d Be Famous for

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was remembered Friday night by Harvard Law School’s dean as an “inspiring and courageous human being” who was among the great Supreme Court justices. The justice, who died Friday at the age of 87, attended Harvard Law, where she was famously one of only nine women in her class of hundreds. She was also among the first women to serve on its esteemed journal, the Harvard Law Review. …On Friday night, current Harvard Law School Dean John Manning released his statement honoring Ginsburg’s memory. “Her powerful and unyielding commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice under law place her among the great Justices in the annals of the Court. She was also one of the most impactful lawyers of the twentieth-century,” he said.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered

She entered Harvard Law School in 1956 as just one of a few women enrolled in a class of 500. A few years later, the woman who would one day sit on the US Supreme Court was famously rejected by dozens of New York City law firms because of her gender. …“Justice Ginsburg personified the best of what it meant to be a judge,” Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning said in a statement. “She brought a deep intellectual and personal integrity to everything she did. Her powerful and unyielding commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice under law place her among the great Justices in the annals of the Court.” … Martha Minow, a former dean of Harvard Law School, recalled Ginsburg’s impact on her own legal career.“I am one of countless people she directly encouraged and deeply inspired to use reason and argument in service of justice and humanity. .. At this time of deep social and political divisions, there is much to learn from her life and her commitments.” … Nancy Gertner, a retired US district court judge and a professor at Harvard Law School, said Ginsburg had inspired generations of women and wound up a reluctant pop culture icon while approaching the law as “a craftsperson who cared about the court’s precedents and was going to work within them.”

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Former Boston Judge Speaks On Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Impact

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known as a trailblazer for gender equality and equal rights, and her death has reverberated around the nation. Former Boston federal judge and WBUR legal analyst Nancy Gertner knew Justice Ginsburg personally, and spoke with WBUR’s Sharon Brody to share her thoughts and memories of a woman she calls “the model of what we wanted to be.”

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