Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way: Midwood street co-named after late Supreme Court justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg street conaming
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s daughter and granddaughter, Jane and Mimi Ginsburg, unveiled the new street sign at a ceremony outside James Madison High School
Photo by Adam Daly

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was immortalized by fellow alumni of James Madison High School with the co-naming of a Midwood street on Wednesday.

The corner of Bedford Avenue and Avenue P, which overlooks Ginsburg’s alma mater, will now officially be known as “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way” in honor of the Brooklyn-born trailblazer.

crowd at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way in Midwood
Dozens of alumni and community members gathered at the co-naming on May 29. Photo by Adam Daly

The beloved legal eagle was born in Brooklyn in 1933, grew up on East 9th Street between avenues O and P, and attended P.S. 238 a block from her home.

Ginsburg went on to study at James Madison High School, Cornell University and Harvard and Columbia law schools, where she became the only woman to make two major law reviews.

After she finished her studies, Ginsburg went on to teach at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School and co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she advocated for gender equity and women’s rights.

Following her work at the ACLU, Ginsburg was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1980, and to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 where she served until her death in 2020.

ruth bader ginsburg
Ginsburg was born and raised in Brooklyn. File photo by Todd Maisel

The late justice’s daughter and granddaughter, Jane and Mimi Ginsburg, unveiled the new street sign at a ceremony outside the high school on May 29. Members of the James Madison Alumni Association spearheaded the effort to co-name the street in honor of Ginsburg, who has left a lasting mark on the school.

In 1994, the high school named its law program’s mock courtroom in her honor. Jane Carbonaro Arrabito, co-president of the James Madison High School Alumni Association, said she met Ginsburg at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the courtroom.

“I met her when I was in between graduating law school and studying for the bar exam. And that was a true honor,” Carbonaro Arrabito told Brooklyn Paper. “I never felt like I was any lesser than my male counterparts for my entire legal career, and that’s due to her.”

 The real estate attorney said she hopes the permanent signage will inspire future generations who may not be aware of Ginsburg’s story or impact.

golden night at ruth bader ginsburg way
James Madison High School’s Mascot, the Golden Knight, poses with the street sign. Photo by Adam Daly

“It’s opening the path to a whole new generation of people that might not learn about her in their homes or on TV or on Tik Tok,” she said. “But just by passing the street sign they can Google her and they’ll find out the connection between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and James Madison High School.”

Wednesday’s street co-naming is one of many honors bestowed on Ginsburg following her death from complications from pancreatic cancer at age 87. Brooklynites have since honored her Kings County roots through a slew of memorials and murals, including the renaming of the former Downtown Brooklyn Municipal Building after Ginsburg.

A six-foot-tall bronze statue of the late legal titan stands in the lobby of the city’s first new public hospital in 40 years at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health in Coney Island, which was also named in her honor.

“RBG’s story is a Brooklyn story, and I’m so proud that her legacy of excellence and advocacy will live forever right outside her alma mater,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso in a social media post celebrating the co-naming.