University honors Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 25, 2020

President Ron Liebowitz emailed the university to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, H ‘96 who died on Friday, Sept. 18, at age 87.

The cause of death was complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to the Supreme Court.

“Justice Ginsburg – who became affectionately known as ‘Notorious RBG’ to a younger generation – was admired for her keen intellect, her determination in the face of injustice, and in particular for her eloquent dissents from majority decisions,” read the email from LIebowitz.

On Sunday, “dozens” of Waltham residents, including several Brandeis students, gathered on the Waltham Common for a vigil to honor Ginsburg, according to Microsoft News.

“Justice Ginsburg was a role model and a fearless champion of equality. She was unapologetic when she declared during a Supreme Court oral argument that the grand goal of federal law was to ‘undo generations of rank discrimination in housing,’” wrote Professor Anita Hill (AAAS/LGLS/HS/WGS) in Liebowitz’s email. 

“I think of her contributions as really helping us define in a very inclusive way what equality was going to mean—what it would look like if we ultimately get to it. And of course being inclusive, her impact did have very much to do with the issues of gender violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace,” said Hill on NPR’s podcast “All Things Considered.” The podcast also discussed the struggle between Republican and Democrat senators that began with Ginsburg’s passing, with members of the former party largely arguing for a new justice to be appointed before the November presidential election, and the latter arguing that an appointment should take place after.

Ginsburg was the second woman to ascend to the Supreme Court, and she will be the first woman to have the honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol. Ginsburg accepted an honorary degree from Brandeis in 1996, and in 2016, she was a keynote speaker at Brandeis’ 100th anniversary celebration of Justice Louis D. Brandeis’ ascension to the Supreme Court. “We should never lose sight of the enduring legacy Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves behind, and we should embrace her determination to work toward opportunity and justice,” read Liebowitz’s email.

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