The experience of serving as a justice has not always been so smooth. When faced with the other eight justices who have different opinions from her, the liberal camp of RBG often loses.
Losing does not mean the end of the discussion. In US litigation cases, the main opinion will be given on the outcome of the judgment, and those judges who disagree with the judgment will raise a dissenting opinion.
Although the current judgment cannot be changed, it is considered a persuasive authority that can be used as a reference for other judges when the judgment is later disputed or overturned. In some cases, it was these dissenting opinions that promoted changes in the law.
RBG is one of the justices of the Supreme Court with the most dissent.
One day in 2006, Lily Ledbetter, who works for a tire company, received a mysterious note in her office: it was written with the names of three male colleagues in the same position and a string of numbers—their wages.
Lily took a closer look and found that the salaries of male colleagues were 40% higher than hers.
At that time, it was the 13th year that RBG served as a Supreme Court justice. After another female judge, O’Connor, retired, the liberals lost a possible supporter and the conservative Alito, who was friendly to the company’s interests, was to write the verdict .
The verdict stated: Lily was indeed discriminated against, but because she did not file a lawsuit on time, the litigation period has now passed, so the claim will not be considered.
Ginsberg was the only female justice at the time, and she believed that the verdict was simply to avoid the problem. So, on the day of the trial, she bluntly read out her dissent:
“Most justices of this court do not understand or care about the little-known salary discrimination that women may suffer in the workplace. Today, it is the turn of Congress to change this situation. Congress should correct this mistake made in this case..”
This sharp dissent directly caused a sensation in American society. Three years later, the federal law was indeed changed because of her objections.
In 2009, President Obama came to power, and within 10 days of taking office as President, he signed and passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. At the signing site, Lily stood proudly beside President Obama.
Lily was wearing a red coat with a solemn expression. An ordinary working woman who received unfair treatment, because of Ginsberg’s objections, finally obtained a set of anti-sexism laws named after her.
People often say, “You can’t spell Truth without Ruth” to express praise and gratitude to RBG. Women who want to go to military academy, women who want equal pay for equal work, and housekeepers who want to be guaranteed… RBG has changed not only the fate of these individuals, but also the progress of the entire judicial circle and society behind it.
Women’s rights are never easily obtained, but are obtained hard through the efforts and struggles of generations of women.
In the biography RBG, it says: “Don’t let them hold you back, Don’t let ’em hold you down, reach for the stars.”