Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Pioneering Justice on Supreme Court, Dies at 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away today at the age of 87, after complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas. Ginsburg served 27 years on the nation's highest court. She was the second female and the first Jewish female justice of the Supreme Court.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family.

Chief Justice John Roberts said-

"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,"

"We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice."


  • Many called Ginsburg the architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s. RBG was a pivotal player in launching the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and advocated for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • Before she became a judge, she argued six sex-discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, winning five. 


Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber in 2007

Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear for 19 years as a supervisor. Over the 19 years she was consistently given low remarks on her work-evaluation and salary reviews; which led to low raises compared to her male counter-parts. Ledbetter sued Goodyear for gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the company had given her a low salary because of her gender.

The jury found in Ledbetter's favor and the court awarded her $3.5 million, and the district judge would later reduce that amount to $360,000.

Goodyear appealed, citing Title VII provision that states that the discrimination complaint needed to be made within 180 days of the company's so-called discrimination.

Ginsburg found herself on the losing side of Ledbetter’s wage discrimination lawsuit, she urged Congress to right the court’s wrong.

  • “This is not the first time the Court has ordered a cramped interpretation of” a landmark employment discrimination law, Ginsburg wrote before citing a pair of decisions that were later overruled by a 1991 federal law.
  • “As in 1991, the Legislature may act to correct this Court’s parsimonious reading of Title VII.”


The very first bill that President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Bill, which overturned Ledbetter.

The Ledbetter Act requires employers to redouble their efforts to ensure that their pay practices are non-discriminatory and to make certain that they keep the records needed to prove the fairness of pay decisions.

  • It also allows individuals to file charges of alleged pay discrimination (under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act ) without regard to the 180 /300 day statutory charge filing period.


Phot Credit: Getty Images

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