Jeff Hoch
The Kulka Group
September 2020
3 Min Read

Building Blocks for Change: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This week’s Building Blocks for Change is dedicated to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away on September 18, 2020.

Justice Ginsburg will forever be remembered for her service to our country and for being a champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

I had the pleasure the other night to watch a two-hour long documentary of her life and times.  It was nothing short of amazing.

Even from an early age when she first entered Cornell University as one of a few women and then again at Harvard Law, where she began her legal education as 1 of only 9 women, Ruth always had a strong sense of self.   She was very proud to attribute this to the teaching of her own mother who would tell constantly “be a lady and for her that meant be your own person and be independent”.  She sadly lost her mother when she was only 17 years old.

Throughout her life, her husband Martin D. Ginsburg was a steadfast supporter.  Their marriage spanned 56 years.   During her Supreme Court confirmation she was quoted as saying “I have had the great fortune to share life with a partner truly extraordinary for his generation, a man who believed at age 18 when we met, and who believes today, that a woman’s work, whether at home or on the job, is as important as a man’s.”

It was this unwavering support of her successes and her accomplishments that she truly believed help propel her to the highest court in our land.

Their marriage was one of tremendous respect and admiration.  She later remarked about her husband “I have had more than a little bit of luck in life, but nothing equals in magnitude my marriage to Martin D. Ginsburg. I do not have words adequate to describe my super smart, exuberant, ever-loving spouse.” (New York Times, 2016)

The work that Justice Ginsburg took on was controversial at times, may have been contrary to popular belief or opinion, but has now paved the way for women to hold better positions in private firms, public corporations and every level of government.

Here are the top 5 laws that she was the champion for:

  1. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on gender or reproductive choices.
  2. State funded schools must admit women.
  3. Women have the right to financial independence and equal benefits.
  4. Men are entitled to the same caregiving and Social Security benefits as women.
  5. Juries must include women.

Justice Ginsburg never retired from the Supreme Court.  Despite her health challenges at times, losing her husband or recent failing health she always pressed on.  This tenacity and commitment to her work is admirable.

It is therefore so appropriate that she will be the first woman in the history of our country to Lie in State in the US Capitol, an honor usually reserved for Presidents who have passed.

Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for all that you have done for our beautiful country.  Your life will forever be a beacon for change, equality and justice for all.   G-d Bless You and Our Country, a land that you have so beautifully shaped with your grace, compassion and your sheer brilliance.