When Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, L ’59, LL.D. ’11, enrolled at Harvard Law School in the mid 1950s, she was one of just nine women in her class. Only a handful of women had served as federal judges in the nation by that time; 10 years later, women still accounted for barely 1 percent of Supreme Court litigators, and less than 2 percent of the faculty at the nation’s law schools. As late as 1979—two years before Sandra Day O’Connor’s precedent-breaking appointment to the Court—a behind-the-scenes book about that institution could be titled, accurately, The Brethren. As Kathleen M. Sullivan, J.D. ’81, told Ginsburg in front of an enthusiastic Radcliffe Day crowd on Friday: “There isn’t a glass ceiling you haven’t broken.”
Ginsburg, the recipient of the 2015 Radcliffe Medal, has been a fierce promoter of understanding women’s rights as a constitutional principle from the earliest stages in her career.
Read the complete Harvard Magazine story, "Ginsburg Discusses Justice and Advocacy at Radcliffe Day Celebration," online.