Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life and Work

208p. appendix. bibliog. index. photos. Clarion. Jun. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544973640.
Gr 6 Up—This accessible and engaging biography of the Supreme Court Justice successfully weaves together information about her life and major court cases in which she had significant influence. Each of the 10 chapters highlights a different court case and a segment of Bader Ginsburg's life, including her academic pursuits, experiences as a woman facing blatant gender discrimination, and her marriage to Martin Ginsburg. The many challenges Bader Ginsburg faced as a person of the Jewish faith growing up during the time of World War II, and as a woman studying law in an overwhelmingly male field are described. Her ferocious determination to fight injustice and inequality stem from personal experience. The first three cases involve teens, (a 13-year-old girl who was strip-searched at school, a 16-year-old girl who fought random drug testing at school, and an 18-year-old boy who fought for his right to freedom of speech and expression at school), and should be particularly relatable to today's youth. Ortiz provides a good overview of how the court system works and how cases reach the Supreme Court. She also explains what it means to dissent and how Bader Ginsburg was encouraged from an early age through the teachings of Judaism to question, challenge, and disagree. Ample black-and-white photos show the subject throughout her life, including the people she defended and befriended. A lengthy bibliography is provided and the appendix includes the Bill of Rights.
VERDICT A straightforward and up-to-date biography about a groundbreaking American icon.

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