RUTH BADER GINSBURG was only the second woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Her predecessor, Arizona Republican Sandra Day O’Connor, owed her place on the Court to Ronald Reagan; Ginsburg, a New York democrat and legal scholar, received her nomination in 1993 from Bill Clinton. O’Connor retired early in 2006, and for three years Ginsburg served as the only woman on the high court until Barack Obama nominated Sonya Sotomayor in 2009 and then Elena Kagan in 2010.
Ginsburg served nearly three decades on the bench, but it was in her own eighth decade that she gained a notoriety shared by few Supreme Court justices: dubbed the “Notorious RBG,” Ginsburg became an icon of the movement for women’s equality, and the subject of books, plays, movies and even an opera (about her and her life-long friend and ideological rival, Antonin Scalia). But, in fact, her influence on the jurisprudence on the Supreme Court went well beyond feminist issues.
The Los Angeles Review of Books has featured a variety of reviews of books written about (and by) Justice Ginsburg, and at the time of her passing it seems fitting to republish them along with the memorable essay tribute by Stephen Rohde, “A Justice for All Seasons,” which Justice Ginsburg herself read and remarked that it “lifted my spirits.” By sharing these articles on the life and work of Justice Ginsburg, may all our spirits be lifted by the inspiration of this great woman.
Legal Affairs Editor
Donate $1 or more, and receive The LARB Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Reader as a PDF, right in your mailbox. TABLE OF CONTENTS:
A LETTER FROM JUSTICE GINSBURG
by Don Franzen
A JUSTICE FOR ALL SEASONS
by Stephen Rohde
THE EVOLUTION OF A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
by Brachah Goykadosh
A VALENTINE FOR A JUSTICE
by Laura W. Brill
WOMEN OF THE HIGHEST COURT
by Jessica A. Levinson