The 2019 winner was the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was a lifelong trailblazer for human rights and gender equality. For more than 26 years, as the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, she authored several notable opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. She also penned notable dissents, among them, in Shelby County v. Holder, and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. She was a constant voice for justice, equal and accessible to all.
Ginsburg received numerous awards, including the American Bar Association’s highest honor, the ABA Medal, also the Thurgood Marshall Award, as well as the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. Additional honors include the Genesis Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Jewish Culture in Sweden’s Gilel Storch Award, in recognition for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights. In 1971, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel, 1973–1980, and on the National Board of Directors, 1974–1980. Ginsburg was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. Alongside Herma Hill Kay and Kenneth Davidson, she authored the first law school textbook on sex-based discrimination. In 2018, Ginsburg was the subject of two critically acclaimed films, the documentary, RBG, and the biopic, On the Basis of Sex. My Own Words, a collection of her writings dating back to her grade school years, was published in 2016.
Image Caption: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States