This weekend, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum issued a public statement on the death of former US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She was known as a staunch protector of civil rights – something the museum also attempts to promote through its mission of preserving the past.
Not surprisingly, those who authored the museum’s statement focused on Ginsburg’s long-lasting influence on the course of civil rights and social justice in America.
“Ginsburg, who was long lauded as a voice of reason and a guiding light by which others could set their moral compasses,” the statement reads, “has left an enduring mark on America’s judicial landscape. The nation has lost a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Ginsburg, who died on Friday, Sept. 18, served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) before taking a seat on the Supreme Court. While with the ACLU, she argued six landmark cases on gender equality to the highest court in the land, which she would later join.
She was appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980, and then, in 1993, President Bill Clinton made her the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
In 1999, Ginsburg won the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.
The statement from the civil rights museum speaks of the importance of Ginsburg’s opinion in the case of Craig v. Boren. In that case, a discriminatory law against men was challenged. The law in question required males to be 21 before they could legally drink alcohol, while women could drink at 18.
According to the statement, “Justice Ginsburg invented the judicial test of ‘intermediate scrutiny.’ This provides a constitutional requirement for a higher level of justification for laws distinguishing rights based on gender. The test has endured as the judicially appropriate standard, increasing the tools available for judicial determinations of equal protection of the law.”
The museum’s statement also pointed to the importance of her vote to uphold a key provision of 2010 Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare.