The Notorious RBG, the passing of a law legend

She was a fighter, an equalizer and a pop culture icon.

Isabelle "Belle" Harper, Editor-in-Chief

On September 18, 2020, there was a loss felt throughout the hearts of many Americans when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, famously known as the Notorious RBG, passed away at age 87 due to complications from pancreatic cancer that she’d been battling for over 21 years. 

“I think, in a way, that she was an inspiration because she refused to give up even in her old age,” English teacher Jennifer Davis said. “She never retired and she continued to stand up for what she believed in until the day she passed.” 

Readersdigest.com coined her a “pint-sized powerhouse who broke barriers both in her personal and professional life to become a Supreme Court Judge and pop culture icon.” 

Ginsberg has been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to a number of women throughout America. She set an example for every United States Supreme Court judge to follow, and this impressive woman’s legacy will be written about in history books for years to come. 

Ginsberg fought tirelessly for gender equality under the law. She battled sexism in her personal life, as well as in her career. She juggled both motherhood and caring for her husband, who was also battling cancer, while completing her law school degree. As a Supreme Court Justice, she was a role model for young girls and women because she showed them what a woman is capable of achieving. Ginsberg graduated first in her class from Columbia Law school, and then she went on to attend Harvard Law School.

Ginsberg was the second female law professor at Rutgers University, and she fought for equal pay. She co-founded the first law journal on women’s rights and became the first tenured female law professor at Columbia. Ginsberg also co-founded the Women’s Rights Project for the American Civil Liberties Union. During her time as a lawyer, she argued six cases before the Supreme Court, and she won five. She went on to become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, one of only four female Justices in the history of the United States.

So far the Notorious RBG is the only Supreme Court Justice to become a pop-culture icon. Most Americans know her name because of the way her attitude and accomplishments have been portrayed in the media. 

Back in 2013, law student Shana Knizhnik made a Tumblr account for Justice Ginsberg. She named the account “the Notorious R.B.G.” Overnight, Justice Ginsburg’s face and famous quotes were put on stickers, memes and T-shirts. Ginsberg has also appeared in many SNL skits, movies, workout videos and talk shows.