Namely for their contributions to the U.S. Supreme Court, which now has three women justices, two non-white ones and one Hispanic. But what do all those accomplishments have in common? And how did they come about?
Brandeis was a progressive social reformer who fought corporal punishment in schools; Warren advocates for fairness for Native Americans; Ginsburg has consistently supported civil rights causes throughout her career as an advocate of gender equality and other minority groups, including gay people. All four were born into families whose members had been part of the Jewish Diaspora since Biblical times — Brandeis’s parents both came from Russia before moving to Massachusetts during World War I; Warren’s father moved to Oklahoma after his family arrived there during World War II; Ginsburg’s mother fled Nazi Germany with her family immediately before Hitler rose to power (and later became a professor at Georgetown University Law Center); and Breyer is descended from Czech refugees who escaped Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union via New York City’s Ellis Island immigration center just months before he was born.
And that makes them not only exceptional students but also exceptional American citizens: all four are first-generation Americans whose ancestors never lived here prior to coming over on ships or planes more than 60 years ago (including Brandeis). And while they might be different politically (Warren opposes abortion), they continue living up strongly held principles like “awesome responsibility,” teamwork and