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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born in 1933, is an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and an outstanding feminist voice. She had surgery for pancreatic cancer yesterday:

[…] raising the possibility that one of the ideologically divided court’s leading liberals — and its only woman — might have to curtail her work or even step down before she had planned.


Pancreatic cancer is often deadly, although the court said doctors apparently found Ginsburg’s growth at an early stage.

This follows the 1999 diagnosis of her colorectal cancer. That article from NYT has more on her life and pancreatic cancer.

I have been a fan of Justice Ginsburg’s for years and years. If you don’t know who she is, President Carter apppointed her a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980 and President Clinton appointed her an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1993. She is absolutely incredible. She topped her class at law school, one of only a few women there and in spite of all the obstacles she had to face as a woman studying with a young child in the 1950s. And after that, she initially couldn’t get a job: no one wanted to hire a woman. She’s been everything from a clerk to a professor at Rutgers to the chief litigator for the ACLU’s women’s rights project. She’s highly principled. And as the Jewish Virtual Library says, ‘When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the 107th justice to the United States Supreme Court in August, 1993, she became the second woman to sit in this court (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman) and the first Jewish justice since 1969.’ She is a constant advocate of women’s rights.

I wish her well.

For more, you can have a look at her pages at Cornell University Law School, the Supreme Court (PDF, also contains biographies of other Supreme Court figures) and good old Wikipedia. Also of interest may be other posts from feminist bloggers on the subject of Justice Ginsburg’s cancer surgery, which include Amy’s at Appetite for Equal Rights (that has to be one of my favourite blog names), Melissa’s at Shakesville and Courtney’s at Feministing.