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Ginsburg, a feminist icon memorialized as the Notorious RBG

14 10 18

WASHINGTON (AP) — US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg moved slowly.

When court was in session, she often had her head down, sometimes leading visitors to think she was asleep. She once acknowledged that she did occasionally nod off. She once confessed to dozing during a State of the Union.

But it was a mistake to equate her gait and gaze with frailty, for Ginsburg showed over and over a steely resilience in the face of personal loss and serious health problems that made the diminutive New Yorker a towering women’s rights champion and forceful presence at the court over 27 years.

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She made few concessions to age and recurrent health problems, working regularly with a personal trainer. She never missed any time in court before the age of 85, and then only following surgery in December 2018 for lung cancer.

Ginsburg died Friday of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington at 87, the court said.

Late in her court tenure, she became a social media icon, the Notorious RBG, a name coined by a law student who admired Ginsburg’s dissent in a case cutting back on a key civil rights law.

The justice was at first taken aback. There was nothing “notorious” about this woman of rectitude who wore a variety of lace collars on the bench and often appeared in public in elegant gloves.

But when her law clerks and grandchildren explained the connection to another Brooklynite, the rapper The Notorious B.I.G., her skepticism turned to delight.

“In the word the current generation uses, it’s awesome,” Ginsburg said in 2016, shortly before she turned 83.

In 2018, Ginsburg was the subject of a documentary and a feature film “On the Basis of Sex,” in which the actor Felicity Jones portrayed her.

In her final years on the court, Ginsburg was the unquestioned leader of the liberal justices, as outspoken in dissent as she was cautious in earlier years.

Criticizing the court’s conservative majority for getting rid of a key part of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 2013, Ginsburg wrote that it was like “throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting........

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