The National Constitution Center announced on Wednesday that the 2020 Liberty Medal will be awarded to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Liberty Medal has been awarded on an annual basis since 1988 “to men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”
Past recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Sandra Day O’Connor, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai.
The Constitution Center said on their website that Justice Ginsburg was chosen for this 32nd annual Liberty Medal “for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all.”
Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933. She graduated from Columbia Law School, tying for first place in her class, and battled sex discrimination as a woman in the legal field throughout her career. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1993.
She is famous for her advocacy for gender equality before the law, women’s rights, and other liberal causes.
In 2007, she wrote the dissent for Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the 2003 federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. In her dissent, Ginsburg called the 5-4 ruling “alarming”.
She said the ruling “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court,” referencing a woman’s right to have an abortion.
At the same time, Ginsburg has been known for her unique friendships with more conservative-leaning justices, including Justice Antonin Scalia. The two formed a special bond over their love of the opera, despite their ideological differences.
Ginsburg delivered a eulogy for Scalia at his funeral in 2016, in which she remembered their friendship with warmth.
“How blessed I was to have a working colleague and dear friend of such captivating brilliance, high spirits, and quick wit,” she said of Scalia.
Ginsburg has grown in popularity over her years on the Supreme Court. In 2018, the movie “On the Basis of Sex” re-counting the history of her life and legal career.
Ginsburg announced earlier this year that she was undergoing treatment for cancer. This is her fifth time battling cancer in recent years.
The Liberty Medal Award ceremony will be held on September 17th – also Constitution Day – via video tribute, which will include operatic performances and remarks from friends of Ginsburg.