Supreme Court Justices

Essay by imaGe April 2006

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Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, born in 1933, American jurist and professor of law, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, who has worked toward ending institutionalized discrimination against women. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15, 1933. She attended Cornell University and the law schools at Harvard and Columbia universities. Despite graduating from Columbia at the top of her class, she encountered difficulties in finding a job in a traditionally male profession. In 1959 she secured a clerkship for the U.S. District Court of Appeals in New York. Ginsburg taught at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963 to 1972, the year she returned to Columbia Law School and became the first tenured female professor at that institution.

Ginsburg attracted notice in the 1970s for her teachings and litigation aimed at ending institutionalized discrimination against women. Between 1973 and 1976 she argued six cases on women's rights before the Supreme Court, winning five of them.

Ginsburg received an appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. On the Court of Appeals she was known for her scholarly, balanced opinions. As a moderate-liberal, Ginsburg sided with both liberal and conservative wings of the court.

President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. Ginsburg became the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, after Sandra Day O'Connor, who was nominated in 1981.

Souter, David H., American jurist, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. (1939- Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, he studied for two years as a Rhodes scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to Harvard University to take his law degree. After two years in private practice in New Hampshire he entered public service, eventually becoming the state's attorney general (1976-78). Named to the state trial court...