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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Influence Through Consistency


Consistency is a key factor in those who achieve great things that the history books remember. Those who leave their mark on the world have a determination to be true to what is most important in their own lives and then the ability to follow through in their actions. Because this month is designated Women’s History month in the United States, let’s examine consistency in the life of a leader in the fight for women’s equality here in the US, former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Education was a matter of great importance instilled in Ruth from an early age. Although Ruth’s mother, Celia, had to forego her own college education in order to support that of her brother’s, higher education was very important to Celia. Ruth worked hard throughout high school at James Madison, undergraduate studies at Cornell, and law school at Harvard and Columbia, consistently graduating in the top of her classes because of Celia’s influence.


Consistency was also found throughout her personal relationships, especially with her husband of 56 years, Marty. Ruth has said that Marty was “the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain.”[1] After meeting at Cornell and then getting married, Ruth and Marty attended Harvard and began their family together. When Marty was diagnosed with testicular cancer in the middle of their time at Harvard, Ruth attended classes and took notes for both of them. She also typed Marty’s dictated papers, along with caring for their family and her own school responsibilities. Marty supported Ruth in her endeavors and they both publicly spoke about having a shared earning/shared parenting marriage where they agreed from the beginning to balance household duties.

Ruth is widely known for her successes in arguing and winning cases supporting gender equality. She did this through consistently seeking out solutions that worked for both genders. The initial case that Ruth argued and won involved a man in Colorado who was denied a tax deduction for caring for his mother because that type of a deduction could only be claimed by women. Marty called this case the “mother” brief because it cast constitutional doubt on hundreds of other statutes.[2] Many of these statutes were later legally overturned by cases Ruth argued. In order to win these legal fights, Ruth constantly continually found solutions that worked for both genders, often using male plaintiffs and picking cases that demonstrated how discrimination against women also hurt men.


From arguing in front of the Supreme Court, Ruth worked her way to a spot on the Supreme Court Bench. She was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was a constant presence on the bench, even through five bouts with cancer. After her first cancer diagnosis, Ruth began a regular physical training routine to keep her strength. This dedication led to one of the longest streaks the Supreme Court has ever seen. Ruth did not miss a single session of oral arguments for 25 years. That equals arguments for over 2,500 cases!


Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a powerhouse champion of equal rights throughout her life. She has cemented her legacy in the history books as a woman who left her mark on American society. By persistently focusing on her education, supporting and being supported by her husband, seeking for solutions to problems that benefited both genders, and taking care of her own health Ruth Bader Ginsburg achieved a streak of influence at the highest court in the country, regularly hearing hundreds of cases a year. Consistency is the force that propelled Ruth’s life. Streaking can help you develop this powerful force, too.

[1] History Editors, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/ruth-bader-ginsburg , accessed 3/9/21 [2] Nina Totenberg, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion of Gender Equality, Dies at Age 87,” https://www.npr.org/2020/09/18/100306972/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-champion-of-gender-equality-dies-at-87 , accessed 3/9/21

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