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From ABC-CLIO's History Hub website

The Supreme Court in Action


image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

[DATE POSTED: May 7, 2018]—Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a political and cultural icon, and the documentary, RBG, is a celebration of the Supreme Court justice's life and work. The documentary is a CNN Films project directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and its release on May 4, 2018, was just two months short of the 25th anniversary of Ginsburg's confirmation hearings in July of 1993. The filmmakers focus on Ginsburg's legacy as an advocate for gender equality on the Supreme Court; but they also include flashes into her personal life as well as her early career, covering her multiple arguments before the Court that championed women's rights. The directors also have fun with their subject, looking at her unlikely friendship with Antonin Scalia—who was often on the opposing side of her opinions—her tenacious workout routine, and her rising fame with younger generations fueled by her regular portrayal on Saturday Night Live.

Ginsburg is one of only four women in American history to serve on the Supreme Court. Her experiences and achievements, as well as those of her fellow women Justices, illustrate the determination that was needed, and the many challenges women faced, to achieve success in the political sphere.

Use the Instruction and Background Resources in the drop-down menu on the left to guide students' library or classroom research into this history. The Instruction will support student analysis of the reference articles. The Background Essay and biographies of the four women to serve on the Supreme Court will contextualize the experiences of women in government and highlight the obstacles and accomplishments of the first women to serve as Supreme Court justices.




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Image Credits

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Select Citation Style: 
MLA Citation
"Rbg: the Life and Work of Justice Ginsburg." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, Accessed 19 July 2019.
Chicago Citation
"Rbg: the Life and Work of Justice Ginsburg." In History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019. Accessed July 19, 2019.
APA Citation
RBG: The Life and Work of Justice Ginsburg. (2019). In History Hub. Retrieved from
Entry ID: 2148993
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