Happy Birthday to the Notorious RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on this day in 1933 and has been kicking ass ever since.

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After she was demoted at her day job for daring to be married and pregnant, the tiny yet stalwart Bader Ginsburg enrolled in Harvard law school,

“where she was one of nine women in a class of about 500. When her husband took a job in New York City, she transferred to Columbia Law School and became the first woman to be on two major law reviews, the Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review. In 1959 she earned her Bachelor of Laws at Columbia and tied for first in her class. In 1960, despite a strong recommendation from the dean of Harvard Law School, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter turned down Ginsburg for a clerkship position because of her gender. Later that year, Ginsburg began a clerkship for Judge Edmund L. Palmieri of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York… President Bill Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on June 14, 1993, to fill the seat vacated by retiring Justice Byron White …

From her seat on SCOTUS she has been battling in the trenches for women’s and civil rights for more than 20 years and has earned the respect and admiration of millions. She has also become an icon for the 3rd wave feminists and the subject of tumbler memes hailing her as The Notorious RBG.

Enraged by the Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that gutted the Voting Rights Act, Shana Knizhnik created an online tribute for the equally furious dissenter in that case: Justice Ginsburg. The “Notorious R.B.G.” Tumblr took off like a bobsled on ice. Soon Ginsburg heard about the Tumblr. She laughingly explained in an interview with this reporter that one of her law clerks told her about it. The clerk, she added, “also explained to me what ‘Notorious R.B.G.’ was a parody on.” Giggling while telling the story, she continued, “Well, my grandchildren love it, and I try to keep abreast of what’s on the Tumblr.” The Tumblr title is a reference to the late 300-pound rapper Notorious B.I.G., known as “Biggie,” whose lyrics are raunchy enough that it’s hard to find a printable line.

I hope this is one of many more birthdays for this amazing Justice and defender of our constitutional freedoms!



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