Ginsburg was a legal visionary born at a time when girls were expected to marry lawyers. Though she was consistently academically excellent, she did not become a feminist until mid-life, defying the early-bloomer narrative. But when she did, she spent a decade deliberately transforming women's status under the law.
With Justice Scalia gone from the Court, no one can say what will happen next, with respect to forced arbitration or any other issue. But the exceptionally strong words of Justices Ginsburg and Kagan raise a very real possibility that the Supreme Court's love affair -- with forcing Americans into arbitration even when it lets corporations break the law with impunity -- may finally be over.
For any one of these aspects of the life of Louis Brandeis -- lawyer, scholar, justice -- we would remember him today as a figure of insight, brilliance, creativity, and moral courage. The combination renders him an extraordinary figure in the practice of law, legal scholarship, judicial craftsmanship and jurisprudence, and civic activism on both a national and international scale.