Courts - Ginsburg to receive ABA Medal at annual meeting

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will receive the American Bar Association Medal, the highest honor conferred by the association, Aug. 9 in San Francisco, during the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting.

"Justice Ginsburg has shown a steadfast commitment to preserving and advancing individual rights that is ever-more crucial in our modern world, where issues of security, technological advances, global business and personal relationships, and world governance issues all have the potential to impinge on personal liberties," said ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm in announcing the selection.

"Our nation's founders carefully crafted a balance in establishing our system of governance. Throughout the history of our country, generations have been challenged to protect that balance. Justice Ginsburg is one of today's champions of that balance, and of protecting our constitutional form of government. Justice Ginsburg has demonstrated her brilliance, keen legal analytical ability and elegance on the Court, contributing significantly to the development of our country's jurisprudence. The ABA is honored to recognize her immense contribution to the rule of law, both in the United States and on the world stage," Lamm noted.

Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1993, after having served 13 years as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before her appointment as a federal judge, she was a professor at Columbia University School of Law, and at the School of Law at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in Newark.

She also was general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, served on its national board, and was counsel to the ACLU Women's Rights Project, coinciding with her teaching at Columbia. While active with the ACLU, she argued six cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, and submitted briefs in 18 more. Her ACLU work has been described as having "fundamentally altered the status of women in American society."

The medal, to be presented during the meeting of the ABA House of Delegates, is given to an individual judged by the association's Board of Governors to have rendered exceptionally distinguished service to the cause of American jurisprudence. It was established in 1929, and only three other women have been recipients: Shirley M. Hufstedler, a former U.S. secretary of education and appellate court judge in both state and federal systems; Sandra Day O'Connor, former associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; and Patricia M. Wald, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and formerly a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Published: Thu, Jul 8, 2010

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