Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg H’96, the second woman to ever serve on the United States Supreme Court, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18 at the age of 87. Ginsburg spoke to the Brandeis community in 2016, celebrating the centennial of Justice Louis Brandeis being nominated to the Supreme Court. In this ceremony, entitled “Louis D. Brandeis, The Supreme Court and American Democracy,” Ginsburg talked about the lessons that she learned from Justice Brandeis. In this speech, she mentioned that although she did not agree with all of the decisions Brandeis made during his time on the Supreme Court, she did admire his methodology at the bar.

Ginsburg, affectionately nicknamed Notorious RBG, was known for her work against gender discrimination, as well as her sense of fashion. She battled cancer at multiple points in her life, which caused her to be in and out of the hospital for much of her later years. 

Ginsburg was famously quoted during her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993 that she “struck out on three grounds, [she] was Jewish, a woman and a mother.” She notably fought for equal rights in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which ultimately stated that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution grants LGBTQ couples the right to get married.

The University awarded Ginsburg with an honorary law degree at Brandeis’ 45th Commencement Ceremony in 1996, three years after her nomination to the Supreme Court.

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