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Into Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU Years

Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court she was arguing before it. How her work with the ACLU shaped history.

About this episode:

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg accepted President Bill Clinton’s nomination to be the 107th justice on the US Supreme Court in 1993, she dedicated the moment to her mother. She said: “I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve; and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life facing discrimination because she was a woman: struggling to find work at a law firm despite being at the top of her law school class, and hiding her second pregnancy under lose clothes so she wouldn’t risk her job as a professor. Then, in 1972, she took on a role that would help lay the groundwork to end discrimination for herself and millions of other women. She joined the ACLU as the founding director of the Women’s Rights Project. In 1973 she was named General Counsel of the ACLU, and argued over 300 gender discrimination cases, 6 of which went before the Supreme Court.

On this episode of Into America, Justice Ginsburg’s former colleague Kathleen Peratis sits down with Trymaine Lee to discuss Ginsburg’s legal strategy over the years: challenging the law step by step, drawing lessons from the movement for racial justice, and taking on cases featuring men to make the point that gender bias hurts everyone.

Find the transcript here.

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