Remembering RBG, a political giant

Illustration by Myah Anglin | The Signal

Few have created legacies that inspire millions around the world. The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of those few.

Despite dealing with struggles and barriers early in her life, Ginsburg is credited with pivotal court cases and redefining gender roles. Because of these achievements, followers and admirers of the justice coined her the affectionate nickname, “The Notorious RBG,” a reference to the rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Ginsburg was an avid academic when raising her children. She graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University. She was one of eight women in a 500-person graduating class at Harvard Law School and graduated first in her class at Columbia Law School.

After working for two years with U.S. District Judge Edmund Palmieri, she served as the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project director. She argued six landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ginsburg began her journey with the U.S. government in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. After serving for 13 years, she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. There, she became a leading voice for gender equality and civil rights. 

Ginsburg’s life and legacy have inspired women to break through the glass ceilings that are upheld by sexism, racism and other forms of bigotry. 

Georgia State alumna Lipi Chokshi was part of WomanLead, a program that empowers women by organizing events that help with their career paths. The organization teaches women how to strengthen their resumes, prepare for interviews and enter the workforce.

“[Ginsburg’s] legacy reminds me to be unapologetic for who I am and to not be afraid to leave my mark on the world,” Chokshi said. “When I show up for myself, I am also showing up for those who do not have a voice yet. I want to make it my responsibility to make sure those voices are heard, like [Ginsburg] did for so many others.”

As a former member of the PEACE club and the Student Alumni Association, Georgia State alumna Talar Rashid continues to be inspired by Ginsburg’s ability to lead and incite change. 

“[Ginsburg] used her life to advocate social change for women, African Americans and other minorities who face systemic discrimination and inequality,” Rashid said. “She tirelessly fought for human rights and was a true example of skill, courageousness and benevolence.”

For many, Ginsburg exemplified power and justice. Her time in government came with standards of equality and fairness which inspired women to follow their dreams and never accept the confinements or barriers before them. 

Ginsburg displayed her fearlessness of creating change when voicing dissents, which are opinions or philosophies in opposition to government or authority policies. 

In a 2002 interview with NPR, Ginsburg said, “Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.”