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43 Harbinger [i] (2018-2019)

handle is hein.journals/harbg43 and id is 1 raw text is: TRIBUTE TO LENORA LAPIDUS

On May 5, 2019, contributor Lenora Lapidus passed away after a long fight
with breast cancer. As director of the ACLU Women's Rights Project, Lapidus
dedicated her career to fighting for gender equality. She pursued an expansive vision
of civil rights for women of all ages and backgrounds. Her work challenged
educational inequity, economic injustice, gender-based violence, and mistreatment
of women in the criminal justice system.
In recognition of her decades of advocacy for women's rights, we dedicate
this special symposium issue of The Harbinger to Lapidus and include the following
tributes in her honor. The issue includes an article by Lapidus on Ruth Bader
Ginsburg's early career, the final line of which applies equally to the author herself:
We are deeply indebted to her for her work laying the bedrock for gender equality,
and we are proud to follow in her footsteps to expand upon this foundation.
Lenora M. Lapidus, who for nearly two decades led the women's rights
program at the American Civil Liberties Union once helmed by Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, died on May 5, 2019, of cancer. She was 55.
Ms. Lapidus's career as an advocate for women and girls spanned three
decades, most of it spent with the ACLU. It began in the summer of 1988, when Ms.
Lapidus was a law student intern with the organization's Women's Rights Project
(WRP). Co-founded in 1971 by now-Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, WRP had
won numerous landmark Supreme Court rulings throughout the 1970s that
established women's rights under the U.S. Constitution. Twelve years after her
internship, in 2001, Ms. Lapidus returned to WRP as its Director, having already
served as the top lawyer with the ACLU's New Jersey affiliate.
By the time Ms. Lapidus took over, WRP had ceased active litigation, but
she revived it and grew it to nearly a dozen staff members, pursuing an ambitious
litigation and policy agenda targeting a broad range of economic and social justice
issues that yielded victories in the Supreme Court, the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights, and countless federal, state, and local courts and legislatures. At
the ACLU, we are fond of saying that Lenora Lapidus renovated the house that
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg built.
Early in her tenure, Ms. Lapidus saw the potential of using an international
human rights approach to address gender-based violence. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme
Court rejected the civil rights claim brought by Jessica Gonzales against Colorado
police for failing to intervene when her estranged husband abducted her three
children, who later were killed. Ms. Lapidus and WRP took up Ms. Gonzales's cause
before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), a body charged
with protecting human rights throughout the western hemisphere. In 2011, after six
years of litigation, WRP won a decision from the IACHR recognizing, for the first
time, that failure by the police and federal courts to protect victims of domestic
violence is a human rights violation. Although the U.S. refused to recognize the
IACHR ruling on technical grounds, Ms. Lapidus and her WRP team used the

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