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August 27, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to receive 2020 Liberty Medal

The award will be presented in an online ceremony next month

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's efforts to advance liberty and equality have earned her the 2020 Liberty Medal. 

The National Constitution Center announced Ginsburg as the honoree Wednesday – the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. 

The 32nd annual award will be presented in an online ceremony on Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. The event will consist of video tributes from friends of Ginsburg and musical performances from opera singers.

"It’s especially meaningful to have convened some of the justice’s favorite opera singers and special friends to offer her a tribute in words and music, describing how she has touched their lives and created what she calls a more 'embracive' Constitution," National Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen said. 

The 87-year-old Ginsburg has served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1993, taking the place of former Justice Byron White. She was nominated by a former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Liberty Medal recipient, former President Bill Clinton. 

Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Ginsburg launched the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and served as the ACLU's general counsel. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. 

The Liberty Medal recognizes people who strive to secure liberty to people around the world. The Philadelphia Foundation established the award in 1988. The ceremony has been hosted by the National Constitution Center since 2006. 

Previous recipients include former Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The decision to award Ginsburg the Liberty Medal is part of the National Constitution Center’s yearlong celebration of women and the Constitution. It has put together a variety of programs and events — both in person and online — bringing together America’s top women leaders and scholars to discuss the 19th Amendment and the importance of equal citizenship for women.

The National Constitution also has opened a new exhibit honoring the 19th Amendment.

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