The state of New York will honor the life and legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a statue in her home borough of Brooklyn, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a statement Saturday.

Ginsburg, who in her later years affectionately was referred to as “RBG,” passed away on Friday at the age of 87, at her home in Washington D.C. Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court where she served for 27 years.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born Joan Ruth Bader on March 15, 1933, in Midwood, Brooklyn, to Celia Bader and Nathan Bader during the height of the Great Depression. Her mother worked in a garment factory and her father was a furrier. She was heavily influenced by her mother who encouraged education, leading Ginsburg to flourish at James Madison High School.

Sadly, Celia Bader was diagnosed with cancer and died before seeing her daughter graduate.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo: Pinterest

Ginsburg continued to achieve academic success, graduating at the top of her class at Cornell University in 1954. That same year, she married Martin David Ginsburg, a first-year law student at Cornell University. She put her career and further education on hold after graduating to start a family. She had her first child in 1955. Shortly after, her husband was drafted for two years of military service. Following his return from the military, Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard Law School.

She was one of nine females in her 500-person class at Harvard Law, where she recounts having faced discrimination from the highest authorities, who chastised her for taking a man’s spot in her class. Despite that, she became the first female member of Harvard Law review. In her last year of law school she transferred to Columbia Law and graduated top of her class in 1959.

It was a struggle to obtain a job until one of her Columbia professors refused to recommend anyone else besides her for a position under U.S District Judge Edmund L. Palmeri. She held a clerk position for two years before pursuing her legal passion in civil procedure, joining the Columbia Project on International Civil Procedure.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg selflessly pursued truth and justice in a world of division, giving voice to the voiceless and uplifting those who were pushed aside by forces of hate and indifference,” Cuomo said of the Midwood native.

In 1963, Ginsberg accepted a teaching job at Rutgers University Law School, before taking an offer at Columbia in 1972, becoming the first woman at the Ivy League school to earn tenure. In 1970, she also directed the Women’s Rights Project of American Civil Liberties Union, fighting against gender discrimination and winning six landmark cases before the US Supreme Court.

Ginsberg continued to fight for women’s rights, attacking specific areas of discrimination and violations and was appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. During her career as a supreme court justice, she adopted her own unique approach to handling cases. Up until her death, battling cancer, she continued to attend all oral arguments and developed a reputation as one of the most avid questioners on the bench.

Nationwide, mourners have gathered to honor the legacy of the late Justice Ginsburg with an array of tributes. In Brooklyn, a vigil was held in front of the Kings County Supreme Court building Saturday night, and memorials have popped up across the borough, from Grand Army Plaza to her alma matter, James Madison High School.

Sunday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams gathered local officials, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Senator Chuck Schumer, Councilwoman Farah Louis, and New York State Women’s Bar Association President Joy Thompson, at the Brooklyn Municipal Building to call for the renaming of the building after Ginsburg. “She should have seen it while she was alive,” said Adams, who has called for this symbolic change in the past.

Memorials like this one at Grand Army Plaza have emerged throughout the city. Photo: Jackson Ibelle for BK Reader

A Statue in Her Honor

Ginsburg’s life and legacy will be memorialized through a statue installation in her home borough of Brooklyn. A commission will be selected by Gov. Cuomo to determine an artist and location for a monument fitting for Justice Ginsburg, he said.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo: Pinterest

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg selflessly pursued truth and justice in a world of division, giving voice to the voiceless and uplifting those who were pushed aside by forces of hate and indifference,” Cuomo said of the Midwood native.

“She redefined gender equity and civil rights,” stated the Governor, who added, “We can all agree that she deserves a monument in her honor.”

The statue’s commission will be appointed in the coming days and will put forward recommendations on the design, location and installation of the monument. The Governor’s office has promised a thorough outreach to the art community, both to institutions and individual artists.

“Her legacy will live on in the progress she created for our society, and this statue will serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today,” Cuomo said.

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Jackson Ferrari Ibelle

Jackson Ferrari Ibelle is a Providence, RI native who has lived in Crown Heights since 2019. He is a Northeastern University graduate and splits his time between writing for BK Reader and working as a...

Tramane Harris

I am a born and raised resident of East New York, Brooklyn with interest in community, arts, and culture. The City College of New York '18

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  1. Not another white person being praised,shame on you there should be a gold statue of Floyd not another White trash,you should be ashamed of yourself for putting that up tear it down.

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