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Ruth Bader Ginsburg  

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated from Columbia Law School, going on to become a staunch courtroom advocate for the fair treatment of women and working with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. She was appointed by President Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 and was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there until she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, selected to fill the seat vacated by Justice Byron White. President Clinton wanted a replacement with the intellect and political skills to deal with the more conservative members of the Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings were unusually friendly, despite frustration expressed by some senators over Ginsburg's evasive answers to hypothetical situations. Several expressed concerned over how she could transition from social advocate to Supreme Court Justice. In the end, she was easily confirmed by the Senate, 96-3.

As a judge, Ruth Ginsburg favors caution, moderation and restraint. She is considered part of the Supreme Court's moderate-liberal bloc presenting a strong voice in favor of gender equality, the rights of workers and the separation of church and state. In 1996, Ginsburg wrote the Supreme Court's landmark decision in United States v. Virginia, which held that the state-supported Virginia Military Institute could not refuse to admit women. In 1999, she won the American Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Award for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.

Despite her reputation for restrained writing, she gathered considerable attention for her dissenting opinion in the case of Bush v. Gore, which effectively decided the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Objecting to the court's majority opinion favoring Bush, Ginsburg deliberately and subtly concluded her decision with the words, "I dissent"—a significant departure from the tradition of including the adverb "respectfully." She continues to promote women's rights from the high court and will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in many controversial cases to come.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I'm Not Going Anywhere

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dismissed any idea that she might ... "All I can say is that I am still here and likely to remain for a while," Ginsburg ...

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