Editor's note: Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, is the author of "Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present." The views expressed here are hers.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing marks the end of an era in more ways than one.
Having repeatedly beaten cancer, Ginsburg had come to almost seem invincible. She was a larger than life figure who became a hero to many young women trying to follow the path she forged in the legal profession. Ginsburg's age and frail health were no secret, but her loss still comes as a shock.
Perhaps more than any other jurist, Ginsburg transformed the law of sex discrimination in America. It is hard to imagine the Supreme Court without her.
Even before joining the Supreme Court, she convinced an all-male Supreme Court that laws enforcing sex stereotypes violated the Constitution -- and demonstrated how those laws harmed men as well as women. Ginsburg helped make sense of how discrimination against pregnant workers could be pernicious.
On the court, Ginsburg offered the clearest and most cogent defense of abortion rights. She showed that sex discrimination involved often-baseless generalizations -- a conclusion that helped advance successful equality claims made by LGBTQ+ groups.
Ginsburg has become an icon for a reason. Her impact on constitutional jurisprudence is hard to overestimate.
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