Trojan News: Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a legacy

Betty Garcia Herrera
Garcia Herrera

WORTHINGTON ― On Sept. 18, 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. In remembrance of her death, her accomplishments and involvement in gender discrimination for equal rights will forever be historic.

In September, the heartbreaking news broke of Ginsburg's death. She passed at the age of 87 peacefully in her own home. Ginsburg was an icon in fighting for what she believed in and advocated for equality in gender discrimination and women's rights. Later on, she earned the nickname, “The Notorious R.B.G.” Her work was not done, but it will forever be remembered.

With the devastation of her death, social media has done a great job in educating and informing others of her accomplishments. In the case of Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000), Ginsburg helped the Nebraska partial abortion law not pass. This allowed women in the state of Nebraska to get an abortion done in a safe procedure.

Ericka Lo, a student at Worthington High School, shared her thoughts on abortion rights.

“I’m pro-choice on abortion. A woman should have the choice to do whatever she wants with her body,” Lo said.


Ginsburg had the same idea and was also quoted saying in a 2009 New York Times Interview, “The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman.”

Ginsburg’s voice in gender discrimination had brought up many legal cases. For instance, the case of United States v. Virginia (1996). In short summary, Virginia Military Institution had only made their application process open to men. This was in violation of the Fourteenth amendment, and Ginsburg couldn’t let this go on. Gender discrimination was a big issue in the early 1900s, and progress was made over time.

Jodi Hansen, a science teacher at Worthington High School, gave her choice of words in fighting against discrimination.

“I have had a strong voice for teachers’ rights since I became more involved with my union,” she said. “I do not hesitate to speak up when I see inequitable situations. I am able to do so because of protections from my union and because of those who paved the way before me.”

Hansen has been able to do her part in having a voice and speak for others who do not have as much support.

In the United States, equal pay has long been debated and resolved in many job fields. Ginsburg participated in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, 550 U.S. 618 (2007). The backstory of this case was that a female employer had not been earning the same wages of her other male colleagues. As a result, Ledbetter got legal help and received the amount of money she was due.

In this case, Ginsburg used the rare practice of writing a dissent and speaking it from the bench. She made valid points in her speech and defended her opinion to the others who may have disagreed. Due to this, she gained recognition after the case had been dismissed. Ginsburg influenced many women who are currently practicing law and helped women gain the confidence to go up against a room full of men.

Ginsberg was a known advocate in wanting equality for women and helping them gain more rights. She founded the American Civil Liberties Union.


Jessica Velasco, a lead organizer with Unidos MN, shared a few words about what she wants to see in the future change for women.

“I would like to see more women sitting in decision-making positions, because we know what we need,” Velasco said. “With women sitting in decision-making seats, then women will make decisions for and with other women.”

Hansen also had the same idea.

“Stand up for yourself and speak your truth,” she said. “Understand that this will likely cause discomfort for you and others, because you will be challenging the status quo when you see inequities that need to be addressed. It is always good to develop relationships with folks who are different than you and who have different viewpoints so that you can all seek to understand one another. It is harder to hate someone you actually have a relationship with.

“I am confident that you will do great things with the passion that burns inside of you,” Hansen continued. “I hope you will not be discouraged when things don’t turn out as you hoped and that you will be able to pick yourself up & push on, even when it gets tough. Persist!”

In the time of her death, her accomplishments were not very known to many young adults.

Lo said, “I have heard about her before her recent death, but I knew more of her after she passed.”

Advocates like Velasco took the news to heart.


“I remember hearing about her when I was in 6th grade, and then again in my job as an organizer,” Velasco said. “I realized the impact she had done in the Supreme Court. Because of her, and people like her, we have made small strides in this country, and we need more women like her to continue to do the work before we go backwards.”

Gender discrimination and women's rights are still affected every day, and there is more work to do for everyone to be equal.

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