AKA “Notorious RBG”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman in history to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1933. In 1954, she was one of nine women in a class of more than 500 at Harvard Law, before graduating at the top of her class at Columbia Law in 1959. […]

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The Fight for Labor in the Public Sector

LESSONS FROM AN ENDURING LOCAL, SSEU 371 by Alexander Bernhardt Bloom From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents THE PHONES rarely stopped ringing in the wing of the union’s headquarters assigned to Grievances. This was a good place for me to begin, explained Shirley. Here I’d get to know the members and their work through their […]

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February 1: The First Black Secretary of State

Francis Lewis Cardozo, the son of a free black woman and a Sephardic Jewish father who became the first African American in history to hold statewide office when he became South Carolina’s secretary of state in 1868, was born in Charleston on this date in 1836. Cardozo’s parents were forbidden by law to marry but […]

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January 20: The ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded on this date in 1920 by a committee that included Felix Frankfurter, who would become a Supreme Court justice nineteen years later, and Morris Ernst, who served as the organization’s general counsel for thirty years (1929-59). Ernst had, three years earlier, co-founded the National Civil Liberties Bureau, […]

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January 18: Curt Flood and Marvin Miller

Three-time All-Star baseball player Curt Flood (a .293 lifetime hitter in fifteen seasons), who reached out to Marvin Miller to sue Major League Baseball in 1969 in defiance of the “reserve clause” — a case that reached the Supreme Court and helped transform the status of professional baseball players — was born in Houston, Texas […]

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The Jewish Jefferson

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, by Jeffrey Rosen. Yale University Press, 2016, 266 pages. YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, as part of its “Jewish Lives” series, has just published Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation. It’s not a full-blown biography, but […]

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June 26: Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Law of the Land

The U.S. Supreme Court’s three Jewish members, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan, joined Sonia Sotomayor and Anthony Kennedy in declaring on this date in 2015, by a 5-4 vote, that outlawing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Twelve years earlier, also on June 26, the Court said in Lawrence v. Texas that laws […]

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