Ginsburg, Ruth (Joan) Bader
Ruth (Joan) Bader Ginsburg, 1933–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1993–), b. Brooklyn, N.Y. A graduate (1954) of Cornell, she attended Harvard Law School, then transferred to Columbia Law School, graduating in 1959. She clerked in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, taught at Rutgers Law School (1963–72), and became (1972) the first woman tenured professor at Columbia. During the 1970s, as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union's Women's Rights Project, she argued a series of cases before the Supreme Court that strengthened constitutional safeguards of sexual equality; she has been called the "Thurgood Marshall of women's rights." In 1980 President Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where she displayed a belief in judicial restraint and took a position between sharply defined liberal and conservative factions. Nominated to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993 to replace Byron White, Ginsburg has continued to act as a centrist, eschewing judicial activism.