Justice Ginsburg an American Hero.

Today the labor movement in this country and across the world mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. From her early days as an advocate and attorney, to her 27 years as Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg has been a steadfast ally for working families in America.  Through her opinions and dissents, she showed a fierce commitment to the rights and the plights of everyday Americans. Like many public employees, she was driven by a desire to serve. Fighting cancer, broken bones, and a system that told her to step aside so that a man could take her place, she persisted and will forever be the quintessential public servant.

Known more recently as Notorious RBG, she consistently defended the rights of workers to organize unions in their workplace and negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment. In her 2018 dissent in EPIC Systems Corp. v. Lewis she gave the clearest defense of labor rights in America,

“For workers striving to gain from their employer’s decent terms and conditions of employment, there is strength in numbers. A single employee, Congress understood, is disarmed in dealing with an employer.”

Prior to her time on the bench, she argued over 300 gender discrimination cases, 6 in front of the Supreme Court. In Reed V. Reed (1971), she successfully argued against an Idaho statue that stated “males must be preferred to females” when determining the correct administrator of an estate. This was the first time the court used the Equal Protection Clause to strike down a law for discriminating on the basis of gender. In Duren V. Missouri (1979) she successfully argued for gender equality, ending a law that made jury duty optional for women. She knew that government could not fairly govern, and the courts could not fairly pass judgement, without the voices of women.

After years as a professor at both Rutgers and Columbia Law Schools, she cofounded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and was the organizations General Counsel for seven years before accepting President Carter’s nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeal’s in 1980. In 1993 President Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court where she served until her passing earlier today. Born March of 1933 in Brooklyn, New York she was 87 years old.  Her husband Martin D. Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by her daughter, Jane, and son, James.

Her opinions, dissents, and influence will continue to defend and protect Americans for generations to come. AFSCME Council 65 grieves with all our labor family at the loss of an American Hero.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18th 2020. She was appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals by President Carter in 1980 and to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993.