When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at age 87, she was the most senior Justice on the Supreme Court of the United State’s liberal wing. She was also the second woman ever to be appointed to that hallowed court.
But when Ginsburg first left law school, she couldn’t get a job anywhere despite graduating at the top of her class at Harvard law. It was 1959.
“To be a woman, a Jew, and a mother to boot,” she would later say about this time, was “a bit much.”
She would often cite Justice Benjamin Cardozo: “Justice is not to be taken by storm. She is to be wooed by slow advances.” She was wary, she said, of “taking giant strides and thereby risking a backlash too forceful to contain.”
Ginsburg’s radical heart was laid bare when she would often joke about how frequently she is asked when she would consider there to be enough women on the supreme court and she would reply: “when there are nine.”