Justice Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court’s oldest member, is also the Court’s most popular Justice on social media. Her position on many of the social issues before the Court has been consistent with that of mainstream America. Ginsberg’s support of same-sex marriage last week was predicted by nearly everyone.
To commemorate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent 82nd birthday, fans flooded the Internet with witty memes (CNN has some of the best here). Fans have also made t-shirts, created YouTube channels, and even permanently marked their bodies with tattoos featuring the soft-spoken justice.
Justice Ginsburg has been on the bench almost as long as many of us have practiced law. Millennials support the justice’s view on social issues such as abortion, women’s rights and privacy.
Justice Ginsburg also made headlines for her sharply worded dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which held that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) so-called “contraception mandate” violates Religious Freedom Restoration Act when applied to closely held corporations. Justice Ginsburg called out the majority for having a “blind spot” on women’s rights. “I certainly respect the belief of the Hobby Lobby owners”, she wrote. “On the other hand, they have no constitutional right to hoist that belief on the hundreds and hundreds of women who work for them who don’t share that belief.”
Ginsburg’s supporters also admire her work prior to becoming a Supreme Court Justice. As General Counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1970s, she argued several women’s rights cases in front of the Supreme Court. Most notably, in Reed v. Reed, the country’s highest court first held that women are protected under the Equal Protection Clause.
“It makes absolute sense that Justice Ginsburg has become an idol for younger generations,” Justice Elena Kagan stated in 2014. “As a litigator and then as a judge, she changed the face of American anti-discrimination law. More than any other person, she can take credit for making the laws of this country work for women, and in doing so she made possible my own career.”
To pay homage to Justice Ginsburg, her fans have even given her nickname, which refers to a gangster rapper with a similar moniker. She’s not that hip though; Justice Ginsburg has acknowledged that she had to initially ask her law clerks, “What is this Notorious R.B.G.?”