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Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Legacy

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In 1971, a woman had trouble getting a credit card in her own name. That changed by law in 1974. She couldn't serve in a jury in most states. That changed in 1975 in a Supreme Court ruling. If she was in the military, she couldn't get equal family housing or benefits for her husband. A Supreme Court decision changed that in 1973. The timing of those changes was no coincidence. In 1972, Ruth Bader Ginsburg began to direct the ACLU's Women's Rights Project. When she died, the ACLU noted that between 1969 and 1980, when Ginsburg left the ACLU to join the federal bench, the group participated in two-thirds of the gender discrimination cases decided by the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg was inspired to make equality under the law her life's work because of her own experiences not being given jobs because she was a woman and a parent. And when she finally did work, she was paid less until she joined an equal pay campaign at Rutgers Law School.

I took my daughter and her best friend to the Supreme Court yesterday, where I saw many women with their daughters gathering to pay their respects to Justice Ginsburg. At a time when there is so much division, it is important to remember that her lifelong work made a better and fairer America for all women, regardless of their politics. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.