With a little more than two weeks to go before the U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat down with the National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the upcoming term and her legacy.
One of her most favorite opinions? Her dissent in the Lilly Ledbetter case, which involved equal pay for women and a Title VII discrimination claim.
My dissent said essentially, ‘Congress, my colleagues really misunderstood what you meant. So make it even clearer’ – which the Congress did inside of two years.
My dissent described what every woman of Lilly’s generation knew: that if you are the first woman in a field occupied by men, you don’t want to be known as a complainer, don’t want to rock the boat, don’t want to be seen as a troublemaker. But there comes a point when the discrimination is staring at you in the face and you have to make a stand.
Referring to the court’s majority opinion, which turned on the 180-day limit within which Ledbetter had to sue, Ginsburg added:
The idea that the dissent put forward was that every pay check that this woman receives is renewing the discrimination. So she can sue within 180 days and she will be on time. And Congress said, ‘yes, that’s what we meant.