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7 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court decisions and dissents that changed American history

INSIDER Logo By ichoi@businessinsider.com (Inyoung Choi) of INSIDER | Slide 2 of 8: Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in a 1996 case that opened doors for women's education. In United States v. Virginia, a 7-1 ruling determined that the Virginia Military Institute's (VMI) male-only admissions policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.Pointing out that "today's skeptical scrutiny of official action denying rights or opportunities based on sex responds to volumes of history," the majority opinion refuted Virginia's description of "absence of public single sex higher education for women" as "an historical anomaly." "A prime part of the history of our Constitution, historian Richard Morris recounted, is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded," Justice Ginburg delivered the decision. "VMI's story continued as our comprehension of 'We the People' expanded. There is no reason to believe that the admission of women capable of all the activities required of VMI cadets would destroy the Institute rather than enhance its capacity to serve the 'more perfect Union.'"

Equal access to education for women (United States v. Virginia, 1996)

Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in a 1996 case that opened doors for women's education. In United States v. Virginia, a 7-1 ruling determined that the Virginia Military Institute's (VMI) male-only admissions policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Pointing out that "today's skeptical scrutiny of official action denying rights or opportunities based on sex responds to volumes of history," the majority opinion refuted Virginia's description of "absence of public single sex higher education for women" as "an historical anomaly." 

"A prime part of the history of our Constitution, historian Richard Morris recounted, is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded," Justice Ginburg delivered the decision. "VMI's story continued as our comprehension of 'We the People' expanded. There is no reason to believe that the admission of women capable of all the activities required of VMI cadets would destroy the Institute rather than enhance its capacity to serve the 'more perfect Union.'"

© Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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