Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday night at the age of 87, was a towering figure in American politics. A pioneering advocate for gender equality, Ginsberg was just the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, and over her 27 years on the Court she became the leader of its liberal bloc. Born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents from Austria and Ukraine, Ginsburg overcame great adversity in both her public and private life, and brought an intense commitment to her seat on the Court: Despite a litany of personal-health scares and family tragedies, it was only last year that Ginsburg missed oral arguments for the first time, following surgery for lung cancer.
In commemoration of her historic life and career, Intelligencer has gathered photos that capture some her most pivotal moments, and her ascent to icon status in American culture.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1977.
Photo: Bettmann Archive
Ginsburg with President Bill Clinton, who nominated her to the Supreme Court in 1993.
Photo: Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Image
Ginsburg with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carol Mosley Braun before the first day of her Senate confirmation hearings in July 1993.
Photo: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images
Ginsburg holding up a book written by her grandson during the first day of her Senate confirmation hearing.
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Reuters
Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist swearing in Ginsburg in August 1993.
Photo: Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images
Ginsburg with the Supreme Court and the president shortly after her appointment.
Photo: Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma via Getty Images
Ginsburg in December 1993.
Photo: Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images
Ginsburg answering a reporter’s questions in Joe Biden’s office in 1993.
Photo: CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Al Gore is sworn in for his second term as vice-president by Ginsburg in January 1997.
Photo: LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty Images
The first two female justices, Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pose for a portrait in Statuary Hall in March 2001.
Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
Ginsburg sits in her chambers in August 2002.
Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
President Barack Obama hugs Justice Ginsburg prior to his 2011 State of the Union.
Photo: PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AFP via Getty Images
Kate McKinnon as Justice Ginsburg in 2015.
Photo: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via
Ginsburg at the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in October 2018.
Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP/ Getty Images
The Supreme Court sits for the official portrait in 2018 following the appointment of Justice Kavanaugh.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
This ruling was expected, but now Trump’s DOJ has a chance to appeal. As Barbara McQuade noted previously: “Each step delays the day of reckoning by many months.”
A federal judge on Tuesday denied the Justice Department’s effort to intervene in a defamation lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump by a longtime magazine columnist who has alleged he raped her, paving the way for the case to proceed.
The department had sought to substitute itself as defendant in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a move that likely would have ended the proceedings, since the federal government can’t be sued for defamation.
One week until Election Day, Joe Biden is going on offense, heading Tuesday to Georgia — which hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1992 — and pushing into other territory where President Donald Trump was once expected to easily repeat his wins from four years ago.
The Democratic presidential nominee planned to travel to Iowa, which Trump took by 10 points in 2016, later in the week. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to Arizona and Texas, where Republicans haven’t lost any statewide office since 1994 — the nation’s longest political winning streak.
The aggressive schedule is a sign of confidence by the Biden team, which is trying to stretch the electoral map and open up more paths to 270 electoral college votes. But after Democrats flirted with GOP territory in 2016, only to lose those states as well as their traditional Midwestern strongholds, Biden’s campaign is mindful of overreaching.
The former vice president will also visit in the coming days Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida.