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Rutgers community responds to death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court, taught at Rutgers Law School from 1963 to 1972 and helped create a course on women and the law.  – Photo by Wikimedia

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court and a former Rutgers Law School professor, died Friday after battling pancreatic cancer. Members of the Rutgers community released statements discussing her accomplishments throughout her career. 

Rutgers—New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy said Ginsburg was a leader in campaigning for gender equality, according to a University-wide email.

“In 1993, she became the second woman ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court,” he said, according to the email. “Throughout that time she has continued to be a leading voice for gender equality, women’s interests and civil rights and liberties.”

Molloy also shared a video of Ginsburg discussing her career at Rutgers Law School, Newark, from 1963 to 1972. She said students asked the University to create a course on women and the law in 1969, which she said helped her realize how often women were left out of legal matters.

“Rutgers students sparked my interest and aided in charting the course I then pursued,” she said, according to the video. “Less than three years after starting the seminar, I was arguing gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court.”

Molloy said Ginsburg’s achievements should inspire the Rutgers community to continue addressing social justice issues, according to the email.

“As an educator and member of this University community, I was not at all surprised to learn that her trajectory as a pioneer for civil rights was launched at Rutgers,” he said, according to the email. “In this moment where injustices and inequalities are once again at the forefront, I have witnessed an awakening on the Banks as knowledge, courage and compassion converge to challenge the status quo and reimagine what a beloved community looks like.”

Rutgers—Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Rutgers Law School, Newark, Co-Dean David Lopez also issued a joint statement on Ginsburg’s passing. 

“As a professor at Rutgers Law School, Newark from 1963 to 1972, decades before she would become a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg taught new generations of legal professionals that realizing the vision of equal justice under the law begins with valuing all persons equally in life,” they said, according to the email. “On her journey to becoming one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists of all time, she continued teaching that to us all and with increasing clarity.”

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) also highlighted Ginsburg’s accomplishments at Rutgers, including serving as an advisor for the Women’s Rights Law Review. 

“Before she became a national figure, she was a pioneering professor at Rutgers—Newark School of Law, and her time there would correspond with an influx of women into the law school, where, no doubt, she would greatly influence them and their careers,” he said, according to a press release. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a Rutgers Law School alumna who graduated in 1976, said Ginsburg helped inspire her legal career, according to a tweet

“As a young mom heading off to Rutgers Law School, I saw so few examples of female lawyers or law professors. But (Ginsburg) blazed the trail,” she said, according to the tweet. “I’m forever grateful for her example — to me, and to millions of young women who saw her as a role model.”


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