RBG mural, photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr

By Mia Silverman, age 11

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the legendary Supreme Court justice, passed away in September after serving 27 years on the Supreme Court and a lifetime of fighting for equal rights for people of all races, genders and sexual orientations. With her seat open, the Trump administration moved quickly to appoint a new Supreme Court justice before the November election.

Born on March 15, 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated top of her class from Columbia Law School in 1959. She co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972, arguing six gender discrimination cases as its director before the Supreme Court. 

Her time to shine came when President Clinton appointed her as a Supreme Court justice in 1993. As the second female Supreme Court justice after Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruled in favor of many civil right topics, such as women’s rights and gay marriage. 

Trump has already appointed two conservative Supreme Court justices in his term, and from the moment Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, he began pushing to install a new judge: Amy Coney Barrett.

Some argue that it is disrespectful to replace Ginsburg with someone who doesn’t  agree with most of her beliefs. For example, Ginsburg voted with the majority in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage, whereas NBC News reported that the Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest LGBTQ rights group, said Barrett’s confirmation “threatens LGBTQ equality.”

The timing of Barrett’s appointment also caused some controversy. When President Obama was trying to install Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in his last year, Republicans refused. Democrats accused Republicans of being hypocritical, and thought that Trump should not have been allowed to install a new justice. 

Despite the turmoil caused by Ginsburg’s passing and her replacement on the bench by a new conservative justice, it’s important to remember the positive changes she made. As Anita Hill said about Ginsburg, “I think that her voice brought to the court her willingness to really push for a full and inclusive definition of equality.”