The Women’s Museum of California celebrates the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away at the age of 87 on September 18th, 2020.

Ginsburg worked in law for 60 years, serving for 27 of those years as the first Jewish woman and the second woman ever on the Supreme Court of the United States. Her career began when, after being rejected by 14 law firms due to her gender, she was finally hired by Judge Palmieri of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. She then began work on Columbia Law School’s Project on International Procedure, and a couple years later became a professor of law at Rutgers University, where she and her female colleagues fought successfully for equal pay.

In 1972 she became the first woman to be granted a tenured faculty position at Columbia Law School, and during her time on Columbia’s faculty she also co-founded and directed the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. As the director of the Women’s Rights Project, Ginsburg argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court in the span of three years, winning all but one of these cases and officially establishing gender as a category of illegal discrimination.

In 1980 President Jimmy Carter nominated Ginsburg to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and in 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court. As an associate justice of the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was involved in several landmark decisions; her opinion in support of the majority decision on the Affordable Care Act, her dissenting opinion in Bush v. Gore, and her writing of the landmark decision in United States v. Virginia are but a few notable moments from her time on the Supreme Court. She was also considered instrumental in the legalization of same sex marriage in all 50 states, and her dissenting opinion on Ledbetter v. Goodyear helped to inspire the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.