Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not only the most senior member of the U.S. Supreme Court, she's arguably its most groundbreaking.
Fellow Justice Elena Kagan told The New York Times on Monday that her own path to the nation's highest court -- which followed being Dean of Harvard Law and the first female Solicitor General -- was made possible due to Justice Ginsberg.
In the spirit of this trailblazing woman and the upcoming Valentines holiday, we present five reasons to love Justice Ginsberg:
1. Wants Girls to Learn Math
Like Kagan, Ginsburg spent her own pre-SCOTUS time as an educator. Kagan told the Times that Ginsberg experienced plenty of gender discrimination nonsense as a professor at Rutgers, being paid less because "[her] husband ha[d] a very good job."
Instead of letting those experiences sour her, she wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Virginia Military Institute case, one which affirmed that women had just as much place learning math and science as their male peers. And it would be almost two decades more before Goldie Blox hit the shelves.
2. Hip to Gay Marriage
Think you're cool for getting an Internet license to officiate a wedding? Well not only has RBG officiated the weddings of Alan Greenspan and NPR's Nina Totenberg, she also was the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice to officiate a gay marriage.
In September 2013, Justice Ginsburg officiated the marriage of Michael M. Kaiser and John Roberts, just over two months after the Windsor and Prop 8 cases were decided.
3. Friends With Justice Scalia
We haven't been shy about celebrating the friendship between Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia, but neither has she. This unlikely duo still finds time to go to the opera, and has actually had an opera based on their camaraderie.
Let litigators and future jurists take this as a proof that ideologues at opposite poles can still manage to have a healthy adult friendship. And with friends like Scalia ...
4. Powerful Feminist Icon
Not only is Ginsburg an icon to those who see her as a champion for gender equality, she's the subject of her own comic book. Blue Water Production's "Female Force," which has featured the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama, gave the 80-year-old Supreme Court Justice her own comic-styled biography in June 2013.
Comics and bobbleheads may seem trivial in light of Ginsburg's actual accomplishments, but they are markers of a cultural impact that won't quickly fade.
5. Not Going Anywhere Soon
The witty Brooklynite told Reuters in July 2013 that she doesn't see herself retiring anytime soon. Despite possible pressure to retire to allow President Obama to appoint someone before 2016, she still believes she has "the best job in the world for a lawyer."
And we hope she makes her goal of lasting on the Court until at least age 90.
So whether or not your legal career has been directly touched by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, mull over her accomplishments and it will be hard not to show her some love.
- Justice Kagan celebrates Justice Ginsburg (The Associated Press)
- 5 Things About Justice Ginsburg (That You Might Not Know) (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Happy Birthday, RBG! 8 Reasons to Celebrate Justice Ginsburg (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Could Kamala Harris Be Obama's Next Supreme Court Nominee? (FindLaw's Strategist)