Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Meant to Education


September 22, 2020

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer in the women's rights movement and the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday at age 87 due to complications of pancreatic cancer. On education issues arising during her 27 years on the court, Ginsburg was a stalwart vote for sex equity in schools, expansive desegregation remedies, strict separation of church and state, and, in a memorable dissent, against broader drug testing of students.

"A prime part of the history of our Constitution ... is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded," Ginsburg wrote for the court in United States v. Virginia, the 1996 case that struck down the state's exclusion of women from the Virginia Military Institute, perhaps her most important opinion in an education case and a sentiment that also reflected her votes in cases involving students of color, LGBTQ Americans, and students in special education.

"There is no reason to believe that the admission of women capable of all the activities required of VMI cadets would destroy the Institute rather than enhance its capacity to serve the 'more perfect Union,'" Ginsburg wrote in the Virginia case, quoting from the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.


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