Ruth Bader Ginsburg: What Her Legacy Should Mean to You

By: Hannah Frutkin

Last month, we unfortunately suffered the great tragedy that was losing the second female Supreme Court Justice to be confirmed, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Tributes to her legacy and how she has impacted generations of women have circled social media, news outlets, and dominated conversation for the past few weeks, and it is all because of the great impact that she has had on the entire United States. Whether male or female, Republican or Democrat, Justice Ginsburg has impacted your life in incredible ways. From her sharp legal mind to her awe-inspiring confidence, she birthed a revolution of change and social justice.

When it comes to law, Ginsburg had an incredible impact on social politics in the United States. Between being a key player in fighting for the rights to a safe and legal abortion to the legalization of same-sex marriage, Ginsburg has created the blueprint for what is to looks like to guarantee human rights. Ginsburg ensured that women could do what they wanted with their bodies, and brought the lack of financial compensation to single fathers to light, pushing her peers to once again ensure that the United States was protecting its citizens legally and ethically. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Ginsburg insisted that it was incredibly important for legal abortions to be managed as a matter of public health, in a facility that was deemed hospital-grade. Although the right to an abortion was granted, she ensured that procedures were taking place in a safe and manageable way. Ginsburg, in her position as Justice of the Supreme Court, was able to facilitate human rights for the people, and continues to do so, even in her death.

On top of her fight in law, Justice Ginsburg also presented arguably the most impactful and inspiring legacy: her own fight. Being the only woman in her class of 500 students at Harvard University, she dealt with those who doubted her and her achievements through and through. She continued to practice law and was consistently met with those who would challenge her based on her gender, but she never gave up. After studying and practicing law, she served in the U.S. Court of Appeals for 13 years, before spending 27 years as a Supreme Court Justice. She was challenged even on her deathbed, and postponed her retirement in 2016 to ensure that she had done her job to its full potential. She fought for all 87 years of her life, and gave us the greatest power of them all- the power to do the same. Justice Ginsburg left a legacy behind that not only educates us on law making and court cases, but one that inspires all generations of women to do exactly as she did: always fight for what you believe in.

Statements on this blog reflect the author’s personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix or YWCA USA. Blog entries are meant to spark individual reflection and community conversations on issues of racial justice and gender equality.