Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Concurrence in Stenberg, Attorney General of Nebraska, v. Carhart

(2000)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early commitment to women’s rights and equality was perhaps forged when the dean of Harvard Law School asked her and her eight female classmates why they were taking up seats at the school that rightly should be occupied by men. If that were not enough, she was unable to win a clerkship for a U.S. Supreme Court justice because of her gender, and she did not receive a job offer from the New York City firm where she clerked during the summer before her final year in law school. Then, after she took a teaching position at the Rutgers University Law School, she discovered that she was being paid less than male colleagues with the same rank. These circumstances motivated Ginsburg’s preoccupation with civil rights generally and the rights of women in particular.

The case of Stenberg, Attorney General of Nebraska, v. Carhart dealt with a Nebraska law that made it illegal to perform a second-trimester abortion, except where it was deemed necessary to...

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Bill Clinton (National Archives)

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