Posts tagged with "Ruth Bader Ginsburg RBG"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Cassandra Yany

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.

During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University. 

Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.

At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.

After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.

During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women. 

Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.

Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.

Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements. 

This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”

After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”

Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

Presidents Illustration for 360 Magazine by Maria Soloman

Biden’s Fight to Lead

By Hannah DiPilato

Joe Biden is leading in the polls against Donald Trump for the upcoming presidential election. 

Although Hillary Clinton was also in the lead for most of her 2016 campaign and even won the popular vote, she lost due to the electoral college. As of now, Biden is not only leading the popular vote, but there is also evidence that he is ahead when it comes to the electoral vote.

Swing states are critical in deciding the fate of the election. According to a recent poll tracker, Ohio and Iowa, both swing states, are leaning more towards Trump. However, swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona and Wisconsin are showing Biden in the lead. 

Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nevada will be vital for Trump in the upcoming election. Currently, however, the polls are showing that Biden is ahead. Nevada has swung more democratic in recent years, as their demographic of voters has changed from Caucasian voters that leaned right to a larger proportion of working-class minorities. Wisconsin has historically voted democratic from 1988 to 2012, and Trump only had the lead by a small percentage in 2016. Minnesota also generally votes democrat, but Trump believes he could be successful by campaigning to voters in rural areas. What will be necessary for Biden to see victory are securing the few states that Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to obtain – currently he leads in those crucial states. 

Even with his current lead, the fight is not over for Biden. In a Mammoth University poll, Biden was leading in Pennsylvania by thirteen percent in July, but this number had already shrunk to four percent by late August. Earlier in the year, with more media coverage on the Black Lives Matter movement, many democratic activists made sure to stress the importance of voting among younger generations which was helping Biden with votes. Now that the media coverage of the movement has become less prominent, this could explain the change in percentages from July to August. 

Although certain surveys are showing Biden in the lead, the race is still close. According to U.S. News, this is usually how the election plays out. Guy Cecil, chair of the Democratic SuperPAC Priorities USA said to reporters during a conference call that the United States is “still dealing fundamentally and structurally, with a very close election.” The electoral college votes could swing either way, meaning nothing is ever certain in an election. 

The most important thing to recognize is that these polls can never be fully accurate and can lean one way or another based on who is participating. Depending on the demographics of the people surveyed, along with who chooses to respond at all, these polls are only an estimate. 

After the recent and unfortunate death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many younger generations have been pushing strongly that everyone needs to vote. The death of Ginsburg could allow Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to select another supreme court justice making the supreme court lean more towards the right. However, in Obama’s last year of office McConnell led a blockade against Obama’s ability to nominate another justice with so little time left as president. Biden commented on this issue and said, “Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.” The death of Ginsburg so close to November could end up swinging the votes significantly in the upcoming election. However, just like the polls, it all depends on who chooses to participate.