RUTH - Justice Ginsburg in her own Words (2019) - full transcript

How does some one with three strikes against her, rise to the highest court in the land, the U. S. Supreme Court?

[slow poignant
instrumental music]

- I don't like to speak of
my own personal experience,

but I will cite one example
because it is a general one.

I did very well in law school.

It was not possible
to do much better.

There was not a single
law firm in the whole city

of New York that would invite me

to come even for an interview.

I don't have two heads, so
that wasn't the problem.

I suspected that the door
was closed because of my sex,

so the barriers were there,

and it isn't simply a question
of changing ages of marriage.

Institutions, gatekeepers
shut the door to women,

and those doors have
been open very recently.

- [Man] How are you holding up?

[muffled speaking]

[people applauding]

[heels clacking]
[muffled chatter]

- There's remarkable
little knowledge

among college students
about the Supreme Court.

I've been teaching college
students almost every year

that I've been a law
professor, and it's remarkable

how few justices they could name

or how little they know
about the Constitution.

I've seen opinion
polls that more people

can name the Seven Dwarfs
than can name justices

on the United States
Supreme Court.

I think it's because
people don't appreciate

how much what the Supreme
Court does affects their lives.

[muffled chatter]

- All righty. Good
evening, everybody.

[people cheering]

- Well, welcome to
the White House.

[people cheering and applauding]

- There she is, also known
as the Notorious RBG.

[lively instrumental music]
[audience applauds]

- Please give a warm welcome

to Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

- So Notorious BIG and I
had something in common.

We were both born and bred
in Brooklyn, New York.

- How does it feel to
become at this stage

in your life this character?

- It's awesome.

[audience laughs and applauds]

- "I'm not a rockstar"?
Au contraire.

[audience laughs]

She is a rockstar. [laughs]

[crowd cheering]
[soft poignant music]

[audience applauds]

- Thank you.

My assignment this morning is

to describe the
essential difference

between the 14th Amendment

and the proposed
Equal Rights Amendment

as a foundation for
a constitutional sex
equality principle.

In a nutshell, the
difference is this.

The equal status and dignity
of men and women under the law

is the animating purpose
of Equal Rights Amendment.

By contrast, sex equality
was not contemplated

by the framers of
the 14th Amendment.

The law is a
consuming love for me.

It seemed to me an area in
which women were not yet wanted.

When you look at
the Supreme Court

and there isn't one woman,
you don't aspire to something

that is such a
remote possibility.

- [Woman] Were you surprised
when you were appointed?

- I don't think it's fair
to say that I was surprised.

I was elated that the
Carter administration

made a concerted effort to
appoint women to the judiciary

so then, at that
point, I could aspire.

- [Woman] Do you have
any aspirations for
the Supreme Court?

- I'm entirely
content with the job

that I now have as I did not
target the Court of Appeals

for the DC circuit as
my life's ambition.

So I don't target any other job.

[flash bulbs bursting]

- She argued six
landmark cases in behalf

of women before the United
States Supreme Court

and happily won five out of six.

I am proud to nominate this
pathbreaking attorney, advocate,

and judge to be
the 107th justice

to the United States
Supreme Court.

[audience applauds]
[flash bulbs bursting]

- Mr. President, I am
grateful beyond measure

for the confidence
you have placed in me.

I have a thank you.

It is to my mother,
Celia Amster Bader,

the bravest and strongest
person I have known,

who was taken from
me much too soon.

I pray that I may be all
that she would have been

had she lived in an age when
women could aspire and achieve

and daughters are
cherished as much as sons.

Thank you.

[audience applauds]
[flash bulbs bursting]

- This is only the day after
my nomination was announced.

I'm still sometimes thinking
I'm walking in a dream.

[flash bulbs bursting]

- [Woman] Some reports from
conservative interest group

that they are concerned that
Judge Ginsburg may legislate

from the bench and not
merely interpret the law.

- I have never
been as optimistic

in naming Judge Ginsburg
to move to the court.

She probably

will have had a more
difficult time the first time

in the circuit
court than she will

through the Supreme Court.

- I intend to cooperate
with the committee

in every way I can to
expedite the process,

and for the rest,
I am what I am,

and I hope that they
will be pleased.

[heels clacking]
[muffled chatter]

- Today, the Senate
Judiciary Committee

welcomed Judge Ruth
Bader Ginsburg,

the president's nominee
to be associate justice

of the United States
Supreme Court.

[muffled chatter]
[gavel bangs]

Would you be kind
enough though, judge,

to introduce your family to us?

- My life's partner for
39 years, Martin Ginsburg.

- [Joe] Welcome, welcome.

- [Ruth] And my son from
the great state of Chicago,

James Ginsburg.
- All right. [laughs]

- And my incredible
daughter, Jane Ginsberg

and Clara and Paul Spera.

- Well, you have quite a
family, and we welcome you all.

Senator Metzenbaum.

- Happy to see you
here, Judge Ginsburg.

In your view is the right

to choose a fundamental
constitutional right?

[tense contemplative music]

- Majority of the court has
said that this is a right

of a woman guaranteed
by the 14th Amendment.

It's a decision that she
must make for herself.

The case poses the
question, who decides?

Is it the state
or the individual?

I think that the
most recent decision

says the woman decides.

- I think you ought to tell
us where you really come down

on this thing because
I'm not asking you

to decide a future case.

I'm just asking you to is
it in the Constitution?

Is it constitutional?

- It's certainly a
question that is going

to be before this court, so
this is the kind of question

that it would be injudicious
for me to address.

- Our next panel is
comprised of representatives

of a number of groups
wishing to testify

in opposition to the
nomination of Judge Ginsburg.

- Consistent with her
warped perspective,

Mrs. Ginsburg, as a litigator,

argued that pregnancy
should be treated

as a disability rather
than as a gift from God.

- Because Judge Ginsburg
holds this view,

I oppose her
nomination and urge you

to vote against
the confirmation.

- Personally, I disagree
with her on this issue,

but she's an excellent person
and a fine judicial scholar.

- [Joe] The next
panel is comprised

of a former ACLU colleague.

- When she was
teaching at Columbia

and running the ACLU
Women's Rights Project,

her vision of social justice
was instructive to all of us.

Her nomination to
the Supreme Court,

I think, fulfills her destiny.

- I was just wondering what
it was in your own experience

that really led you
to take this path

and devote so much
of your career

to breaking down
the legal barriers,

the advancement of the
women in our society.

- Senator Kennedy, I'm very
sensitized to discrimination.

I grew up at the time of World
War II in a Jewish family.

[slow somber instrumental music]

I have memories as a
child, even before the war,

of being in a car with my
parents and driving places,

and there was a sign
in front of a resort,

and it said, "No dogs
or Jews allowed."

That in this country
during my childhood.

People who have
known discrimination

are bound to be
sympathetic to understand.

I want to thank Judge
Ginsburg for revealing

not only the
brilliant of her mind

but I think of her
soul and heart as well.

- Now I know just how
really fitting and proper

and how significant this
vote is going to be for me.

- Whatever you've been doing
has worked pretty well,

so keep doing it.

[poignant instrumental music]
[muffled chatter]

[audience applauds]

- I, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
do solemnly swear.

- I, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
do solemnly swear.

- That I will support and
defend the Constitution

of the United States.

- That I will support and
defend the Constitution

of the United States.

- So help me God.
- So help me God.

[flash bulbs bursting]
[audience applauds]

- [Bill] Her story already
is a part of our history.

Now her words and her
judgments will help

to shape our nation today and
well into the 21st century.

- It's by far the best
place I have ever worked.

The relationship among
the justices is very close

because no matter how
great our differences

on what the law
is or ought to be,

we know it will suffer
if we can't get on well

Having Justice O'Connor
here for 12 years

before I came made it
infinitely easier for me.

She is an exceptionally fine
and well-respected judge,

and she has been such a warm
and wonderful friend to me.

Although we come from very
different areas of the country,

I would say there's much more
bonding between the two of us

than there is between any
two men on that court.

[audience laughs]

I wish student groups would
come and visit the court.

A very hearty welcome to the
Supreme Court to all of you.

Please sit down, and
perhaps one of the teachers

can tell me a little
bit about you.

- You have two classes
of 5th grade students,

ages ranging between
10 and 12 years old,

and we're from Indianapolis.

- [Ruth] Very good.

- Was it hard to be on
the Supreme Court justice

because you're a woman?

- It's becoming
less and less hard.

When I graduated
from law school,

no woman in the history of
the country had ever been

on the Supreme Court,
but times have changed.

[upbeat lively 50s music]

My mother wanted me
to be a school teacher

because that would afford
me a nice steady income

and leave time for a
husband and a family.

Doors were totally
shut to most women.

Women simply could
not be prosecutors.

The law was not the
way to independence.

When I graduated from law
school with high grades,

there was not a single law
firm in the entire city

of New York that
offered me employment.

In those days, I had
three strikes against me.

One is I was Jewish, and many
firms were just beginning

to let down racial, religious,
national origin barriers.

Another, I was a
woman, and then the one

that I think really did me in

was I had a
four-year-old daughter.

It was enough of a risk to
take a chance on a woman,

but taking a chance on
a mother was too much.

[tense contemplative music]

- Justice Ginsburg,
first of all,

I'd like to say that
you don't look anything

near 60 years of age.


And secondly, could you
tell us a little bit

about your family history?

[light jaunty music]

- My husband was my
classmate in college.

We met when he was
18 and I was 17.

- The truth is, it was a blind
date only on Ruth's side.

[audience laughs]

I cheated.

[audience laughs]

- We were best friends
during our college days.

- "Oh, she's really cute,"
I perceptively noticed.

[audience laughs]

And then after a
couple of evenings out,

I, "and boy she's
really, really smart."

- And when I graduated from
college, we got married.

I have a daughter and a son.

My daughter has two
wonderful children.

- It's quite simple.

Your wife has a job,
which, deep in your heart,

you wish you had.

[audience laughs]

- It wasn't easy to
get that first job.

I had a great professor.

He recommended me to a judge

who always hired his law
clerks from Columbia.

The judge said, "Well,
I've looked at her resume.

She has a four-year-old
daughter. How can
I rely on her?"

And the professor said, "If
you don't give her a chance,

I will never recommend another
Columbia clerk to you."

[audience laughs]

And that's how I got my
first job [muffled speaking].

There was an offer
from Rutgers Law School

to teach procedure.

If I didn't take it, an
offer my never come again.

My students, they wanted a
course in women in the law.

In the space of one month, I
read every federal decision

that had ever been written in
the area of gender in the law.

There was barely anything.

[women chanting faintly]
[up-tempo uplifting music]

- [Irin] The country was
experiencing upheavals inspired

by activists who were
no longer willing

to accept the status quo.

- [Ruth] Women came into the
American Civil Liberties Union

and complained that they had
to go on maternity leave.

You didn't get paid
for that leave,

and you didn't have
any right of return

unless the school
wanted you back.

- [Woman] There were
still laws on the books

that said women can't work
more than certain hours.

They can't work at night.

They can't lift
more than 15 pounds.

And basically,
those laws were used

to keep women out
of high-paying jobs.

- [Ruth] The American
Civil Liberties Union

in New Jersey turned to me,

so those are the
cases we started with.

- The ACLU was at the beginning
of doing women's rights work

and was really in the forefront

of big-time gender
discrimination litigation,

and Ruth was the head of it.

- [Ruth] Our lead
case was Reed V Reed

[soft melancholy
instrumental music]

Sally Reed, whose
son died tragically

and killed himself with
his father's rifle.

She wanted to be appointed
administrator of his estate.

The statute read, "As between
persons equally entitled

to administer a
decedent's estate,

males must be
preferred to females,"

and it was the
turning point case.

- It was the first time
the Supreme Court found

that gender discrimination
was unconstitutional.

The decision in that
case was revolutionary.

Ruth spent the next 10 years
just blasting the door open.

- [Girl] Of the six women's
right cases you've argued

before the Supreme Court,

which do you think has
made the biggest change?

- One of my favorites
involved a father,

a man whose wife was the
dominant earner in the family,

and she died tragically
in childbirth.

He wanted to work only part
time and tend to his child.

He sought social
security benefits

to assist him in that
effort and was told,

"Well, those benefits
aren't available to you.

Those are mother's benefits."

- The judges actually
disbelieved that this

could be a real
case because they

couldn't imagine a man wanting

to be the primary
caregiver to his son.

- [Ruth] That judgment
declares the gender line

at issue unconstitutional
because it discriminates

in violation of
the 5th Amendment

against gainfully employed
women, such as Paula Wiesenfeld,

as well as against
men and children

who have lost their
wives and mothers.

- [Warren] A three-judge
district court in
New Jersey held

that this sex-based
discrimination was

We agree, and we affirm.

[poignant instrumental music]

- [Ruth] The Supreme Court
unanimously held in favor

of that father because the
baby who had lost a mother

rather than a father did
not have the opportunity

to be cared for by the
sole surviving parent.

The strategy was to go
after gender stereotypes

and to rid the law books
of these arbitrary lines

that separated the
world into two spheres,

the world outside the home,
which belonged the man,

and the world within the home
that was women's province.

- [ME] She came up with the
idea of using men as plaintiffs.

- These were men who is the
male survivor of a wife,

they didn't get the benefit.

It was discrimination
against the widower,

but it was also discrimination
against the woman.

- We were given various
tasks relating to the briefs,

and she discussed
the case with us,

and we saw the
evolution of the briefs.

We would do drafts, and then
Ruth would rewrite them.

[laughs] She was an amazing
writer, and the expression was,

"If you could get the briefs
to sing," and hers sang.

They were powerful.

It's like people said when
Tiger Woods was at his peak,

Tiger was playing golf up here,

and everybody else was
playing golf down there.

He was at another level,
and Ruth was like that.

- Craig Versus Boren and
sometimes called the Beer Case.

[audience laughs]

Oklahoma had a very silly law.

Girls could buy beer at age 18,

but the boys had to
wait until age 21.

So the thirsty boys
at a fraternity

[audience laughs]

in Stillwater, Oklahoma
brought this case.

[bluesy rock guitar music]

- [Man] It says that all
females, even those that

are the most drunk, most
alcoholic, most immature,

and most irresponsible
may purchase 3.2% beer

at age 18 in absolutely
unlimited quantities.

- [Warren] The
law doesn't say it

in quite those words, does it?

[audience laughs]

- [Man] No, your honor,
and the law doesn't say it

in quite the words that
all males 18 to 21,

even though they are the
most mature, most sober,

or most self restrained
can't purchase a drop of it.

- Trying to hear
[laughs] the Oklahoma,

I think it was the
Oklahoma attorney general,

argue this case seriously
was just hysterical.

That case in some ways it's
so stupid that it was easier,

but it was a good precedent

because it got people
thinking about stereotypes.

- I can tell you a case
that made a big difference.

It was a case involving
service of women on juries.

Women were not called for jury
duty unless they volunteered,

and that was regarded as fine,

not as any kind of
discrimination against women

but, in fact, discrimination
in their favor.

But some women had the sense
that the state was making them

or regarded them as
dispensable, not really needed.

- [Warren] We'll
hear arguments next

in 6067, Duren against Missouri.

- [Man] Mr. Chief Justice,
may it please the court.

In March of 1976, petitioner
Billy Duren appeared for trial

in the Jackson
County Circuit Court.

Appearing with Mr.
Duren was a jury panel.

That panel of 53 people
included only five women.

If women are not on juries
in sufficient numbers,

Billy Duren's right to a fair
cross-sectional jury panel

has been defeated.

[melancholy contemplative
instrumental music]

- I divided the argument
with the public defender

from Kansas City, so I
had a precious 15 minutes.

- [Warren] Mrs. Ginsburg,
if you may lower the lectern

if you would like.

[courtroom chuckles]

- Mr. Chief justice, and
may it please the court

hear Billy Duren's
right to a fair chance

for a jury genuinely

of the communities
complexion, and second,

the vaunted woman's privilege.

Women traditionally were
deemed lesser citizens.

- [Warren] That wouldn't
concern Mr. Duren, would it?

- [Ruth] Mr. Duren has
a right to a jury drawn

from a panel reasonably
representative of the community.

- I actually sat with
her at council table.

Now, very few, I think,
other people or professors

would have been that
gracious and allowed that,

but that was the kind
of person Ruth was.

What was interesting was
watching the oral argument

because Ruth, she clearly
had the respect of the court.

She did very well in
her quiet and direct way

with the court.

Thurgood Marshall, he was very
interesting in oral argument,

and I got the sense
that he got it,

totally got it because
he had been there

and he understood a world
judging you by something

like race or gender that
you had no control over,

and that essentially had really
not much to do with anything

except in the eyes of people
who were stereotyping.

- [Byron] Under
the Missouri law,

women are eligible
for jury duty,

but they are entitled to
an automatic exemption.

No similar excuse
is available to men.

Duren claims that his a 6th
and 14th amendment right

to a trial by a
jury representing a
fair cross section

of the community is
violated by this scheme.

[pleasant uplifting piano music]

- As this court
said in the 1960s,

women are the center of
home and family life.

One of my answers
to that question

was men ought to be there, too,

sharing the work of caring
for children and the home,

and women should be
regarded as citizens

in the public arena of
equal stature with men.

That was the essential
message that I endeavored

to get across in all
the cases that I argued.

- Justice Ginsburg
slowly convinced the
Supreme Court that,

under the Equal Protection
Clause of the 14th amendment

and also the 5th amendment,

the government could not
say that men and women

were fundamentally
different and needed

to be treated as
such under the law.

The way that she
approached it was

to take these nine male
justices by the hand

and lead them very
slowly on a path,

and it wasn't until
she had almost entirely

accomplished her goals did they
realize how far they'd come.

- In retrospect and
what we accomplished

and looking back
on those two years,

I always say there was a
brief and shining moment

in my life when I helped
change the world. [chuckles]

[camera clicks]

- I would like to present
to you this gift bag

from the city of Indianapolis.

We are known for our winning
Indiana Pacers basketball team

and, of course,
the Indy 500 race.

I sincerely hope you
enjoy our gifts to you.

- Miss, thank you so much.

Oh, let's see this.

- These are flags from the-

- These are flags from-

- Indianapolis for
the Indy 500 race.

- Ah. These I may
share with my grandson.

I think he would
appreciate that.

[audience applauds]

Well thank you so much.

[audience applauds]

ME Freedman was one of
my wonderful students

who made it possible
for dreams to come true.

I remember our first meeting.

ME came to my office a
little angry and said,

"The way women are treated
by the law is dreadful,

and I want to take courses
that will help me do things

to aid women."

And I said, "If you want
to aid women and men

and make a better society,
become a damn good lawyer,"

and that's exactly
what she has done.

- She was clearly the
intellectual equal,

if not the superior, of the
nine men she was arguing before.

She was light years ahead
of us and of the justice

who asked the question and
taught her students to be aware

of the need to judge
individuals on their merits,

not on the basis of
stereotype and qualities

like gender that
have nothing to do

with merit and
ability to do the job.

Thank you.

[audience applauds]

- If any of you have the
opportunity to do that kind

of not-for-profit
public interest work,
you should grab it.

It was an amazing experience.

- I'd like to tell you the happy
ending to one of the cases.

The baby in that story is today
in his last year of college

and has recently applied
to Columbia Law School.

[audience applauds and exclaims]

[uplifting poignant music]

[cameras clicking]
[muffled chatter]

[muffled chatter]
[group applauds]

This was my first
grade class, too,

and I learned to read and
to write in this room.

[cameras clicking]

To all my friends in this room,

my heart is just brimming over.

There isn't a place that I
would rather have dedicated

to me in this building
than the library.

This is where I learned to read.

This is where I learned
to love learning.

[muffled chatter]

- [Winston] Justice
Ginsburg, who a role model

when you were growing up?

- Winston, they didn't
have a term role model

when I was growing up, but
I can think about someone

who was in a book and not real.

But I guess she was a role
model for a lot of us.

She was Nancy Drew.

[audience laughs]

And then there was
Amelia Earhart.

Not too many women in the
lawyering or judging line

because mostly,
they didn't exist.

[audience applauds]
[cameras clicking]

- [Woman] We are
proud of this room.

We dedicate it to you,

the Ruth Bade
Ginsburg courtroom,

and we hope you will
visit many times.

- I've judged moot courts
all around the country,

but I never dreamed
that a courtroom

would be named after me,
and this is remarkable.

How did you do this?

- [Woman] Well, let's
have for students come up

and make that presentation.

- Here, your portrait will
hang in this courtroom

as an inspiration to us all
because you represent the level

of excellence that all
of us hope to achieve.

Thank you.

- The first time a port was
done of me, it was a huge woman.

And I looked and it,
I said to the artist,

I showed her my hand.

I said, "Well, my
wrist is very small."

She put a dab of black paint,
but her notion was a woman

to be in power must be large.

She must be at least five
foot 10 and not five foot two.

That looks like me. That's...

[audience laughs and applauds]

[melancholy piano music]

The children seem
genuinely happy.

I was happy most of
the time in PS 238,

but I was still there
in the day when,

if you were
left-handed as I was,

the teacher tried
to make you change.

So I remember crying
in the first grade

because I did my penmanship,
and it was simply awful,

but I did it with my
right hand, and I got a D,

and I said, "I will never again
write with my right hand."

The story that was told about
the girls having cooking

and sewing while
the boys had shop,

I remember envying the boys long

before I even knew
the word feminist

'cause I liked shop better
than cooking or sewing.

Our neighborhood was
predominantly Irish,

Italian, Polish,
Catholic, and Jewish.

My mother told me two things.

One was to be a lady and the
other was to be independent,

but most girls
growing up in the 40s

were to find Prince Charming
and live happily ever after.

She said it was most important

to get a job and support myself.

Sadly, she died when I was 17.

She died the day before
my high school graduation.

- She really doesn't talk
much about how that felt.

She internalizes it.
She's quite stoic.

Whether it's her sister
dying young as a child,

whether it's her
mother dying the day

before her high
school graduation,

without that kind of skillset,

everything that
life threw at her,

we might not have her on
the Supreme Court today.

- I think my daughter
is following much
the same career path

as I did.

Jane will speak for herself,

but she might have preferred
something more venturesome

than law because it wasn't a
daring thing to do anymore.

- [Woman] Speak
for yourself, Jane.

[audience laughs]

- I don't know whether I
wanna characterize things

in terms of daring or not,

but I guess I certainly
got the feeling that a law

was a profession which gave
you a fair amount of autonomy.

[bright uplifting
poignant music]

- [Ruth] We are the first
mother daughter who have taught

at a law school in
the United States.

- My daughter is
three years old,

so it's a little premature.

It'd be nice if she would
be a concert pianist.

She's a pretty
feisty little kid.

There will be legal examples
of bounding since her mother

and her father and
her grandmother

and her grandfather
are all lawyers,

which might persuade her after
all to be a concert pianist

if the talent is there.

[audience laughs]

- Enter the robing room.

The first thing we do
is go around the room,

each justice shaking
hands with every other.

And that's a symbol of the work

that we do as a collegial body.

We go around the
room in seniority

so the chief will
summarize the case.

No one can enter the room
who is not a justice,

no secretary, no law clerk.

You will not see a laptop.

Notes are taken by
each justice by hand.

They're just a
private conversation

among the justices
about the case.

- When Justice Ginsburg
first became a judge,

she left some of the
work she had hoped

to accomplish unfinished.

Now she got close, but
she didn't go all the way.

With the US versus
Virginia, the VMI case,

she came even closer.

- The Virginia
Military Institute case

is one of a line
of decisions saying

that no doors should
be closed to people

who have the talent and the
will to enter and do the job.

[men shouting in distance]
[soft pleasant music]

It was a school maintained
by the state in Virginia

that gave a good education.

[footsteps marching in unison]

It was a grant opportunity,

but the state afforded it
only to members of one sex.

- [Man] What we have here
is a single sex institution

for men as designed as a
place to teach manly values

that only men can learn to show

that men can suffer
adversity and succeed.

- [Ruth] If women
are to be leaders

in life and in the
military, then men have got

to become accustomed to
taking commands from women,

and men won't become
accustomed to that

if women aren't let in.

- [Man] This court is
called upon to decide

as whether a state institution
can model its program

on the assumption that
there are certain things

that women can't do in general.

There are certain things that
men will not do with women

because those men think that
women are not capable of that.

[guns cocking]

- Here, the administration
has total control over us.

They can come in our
rooms anytime they want,

and I don't think
that a female student

would like it very
much if somebody

from administration came
in and kicked in her door,

no matter what she was doing.

- They don't belong there.

It's been an all-male school,

just like some of
the black students

in Alabama and Mississippi
are all male black schools.

They don't want whites.
They don't want females.

Leave 'em alone.

- If you don't let women in,

you're gonna always have that
question as to is it fair?

And you always want to
be fair to everybody,

and everybody should have
the same opportunities

as everybody else.

[men shouting indistinctly]
[cannon booms]

- [Ruth] On behalf
of women capable

of all the activities
required of VMI cadets,

instituted this lawsuit in 1990,

maintaining that under the
Equal Protection Clause

of the 14th amendment to the
United States Constitution,

Virginia may not reserve
exclusively for men.

[pleasant uplifting music]

[upbeat marching music]

- No one expects you to be able
to run this marathon today.

VMI will provide
you the training

and the conditioning
necessary in such a way

that you will grow over time.

- I remember being
in high school

and watching the VMI decision
when I was in GROTC class,

and I remember hearing and
watching Justice Ginsburg.

And in essence, what
she said is that women

are not inferior to men,
and we can do all things.

My best friend at the time said,
"Women don't belong there."

I told him, "I'm committed."

I said, "Not only will I
go, but I'll graduate."

And so he bet me
$1 in that moment

that I wouldn't make
it out my first year

at the Virginia
Military Institute.

We actually went along
with another fellow cadet,

and I was the only
one to graduate.

My first year was a
little bit of a blur.

There wasn't that many women.

I can't remember
the exact numbers,

but it was a handful of us.

[helicopter blades whirring]

I think everyone at some point

in time thinks about quitting.

It's hundreds of pushups,
thousands of sit ups,

multiple mal runs with
50-pound back sacks.

There's a lot of yelling.
There's a lot of screaming.

There's no locks on any doors,

and you're roaming
right beside hundreds

of males on either side.

[cadets shouting indistinctly]

I don't think anything
can prepare you

to that type of experience.

Well, now I am a proud mom of
twin boys, Alex and Xander.

They're 10 months now.

I'm a public defender
in Arlington,

and I'm also the delegate
for the 2nd District

of Prince William and Stafford.

My grandmother always
told me to be the change

that you want to see, so
I decided to throw my hat

in the race and
make that change.

[bright uplifting music]

VMI instilled principles
in me that I know I

wouldn't have received
any other place.

Well, it teaches you a
fortitude and integrity

and a gogetitness.

Some people would
say to me afterward,

"Well, you were
pregnant," and I'm like,

"Well, that's never an
excuse to not do anything."

We wanna put a qualified
teacher in every classroom.

[group cheering and clapping]
[muffled speaking]

My husband and I met
on the second day

at Virginia Military Institute.

It's no problem for him
to stay home and to be

with the babies while
I'm out knocking doors

or going to functions or
speaking at political events.

It is very difficult to know
where I would be right now

if it wasn't for Justice
Ginsburg and her opinion.

She laid the foundation
for all of us,

especially me as
a woman to be able

to attend Virginia
Military Institute,

and I think it helped me reach
the place where I am today.

[footsteps marching in distance]

- On behalf of VMI corps
cadets, faculty, and staff,

as well as Washington and
Lee and School of Law,

we'd like to present with you

with these tokens
of our appreciation.

[audience applauds]

- Who would've imagined
that this woman

who nobody would give a
job when she graduated

from law school would
now not only be one

of the nine on the Supreme Court

but also calling upon
the groundbreaking work

that she had done
as an advocate.

It really came full circle
with US Versus Virginia.

- Oh, isn't that beautiful?

- [Woman] Thank you so much.

[audience applauds]

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

- This will be placed on a
shelf just behind my desk,

and I am very proud
to put it there.

- There was only one
dissenter in the case

that allowed women into the
Virginia Military Institute.

Justice Scalia dissented.

- [Antonin] It's not
that women can't do it.

It was that it would interfere
with the kind of relationship

among the students that
produces the adversative method.

- So I took this dissent,
this very spicy dissent,

and it absolutely
ruined my weekend

at the second service.

[audience laughs and claps]
[light pleasant music]

How we could be friends
given our disagreement

on lots of things,
Justice Scalia answered,

"I attack ideas, I
don't attack people.

Some very good people
have some very bad ideas."

[audience laughs and claps]

Our friendship should
not have been surprising

to people who watched the court.

He has an extraordinary
ability to make you smile.

When we were on the
DC circuit together,

Justice Scalia would
whisper something to me.

All I could do to avoid
laughing out loud,

so I would sometimes
pinch myself.

[audience chuckles]

People sometimes ask me,

"Well, what was your
favorite Scalia joke?"

And I said, "I know what it
is, but I can't tell you."

[audience laughs]

- To justify the
position of, well,

you can have some slop over.

You don't have to be
too precise about it.

It doesn't matter.

- [Man] He's called
an originalist,

meaning he believes
that the Constitution

ought to be interpreted
more or less

as the founding fathers meant
for it to be interpreted.

- Contemplating
what the forefathers

would have envisioned had they
foreseen modern conditions.

- [Man] Her view is
that the Constitution

is what has been called
a living document,

meaning it changes
as society changes.

- I'm sorry, please.
- I was going to.

[muffled speaking]

You wouldn't wanna live
in most of the countries

of the world that
have a bill of rights

which guarantees freedom
of speech and of the press.

You wouldn't wanna live there.

- I have to disagree with my
colleagues in that respect.

- [Marvin] I'm glad
that you can do it.


[audience laughs]

I don't think that
the rest of the world

is regarding our legislature
at the current moment

as a model to be followed.

[audience laughs and claps]
[soft pleasant music]

- She disagreed with
everything that he said,

but she loved how he said it.

I don't think that they ever
changed each other's minds.

- Now what's not to like

[audience laughs]

except her views of
the law, of course?

[everyone laughs]

- It was about mutual respect.
There was a warmth there.

Their families were friends.

They would spend
New Year's together.

- And Ruth, honest to goodness,
went up behind a motor boat

in a sail-
- Parasail.

- Yeah.

[audience laughs]

- She's so light, you would
think she would never come down.

[audience laughs]

- There's no greater lover of
opera than Justice Ginsburg.

- If I could have any
talent God could give me,

I would be a great diva
because I simply love opera.

- So to bring together
her famous friendship

with Scalia in opera form in
many ways was her life's dream.

[bright pleasant music]
[set banging]

- [Woman] We're here at the
Castleton Opera Festival

for "Scalia/Ginsburg."

It's an opera about two
Supreme Court justices,

how they are on opposite sides
of the ideological spectrum,

but they're best friends.

♪ Ruth Bader Ginsburg ♪

[audience laughs]

♪ It's not the first
time I've had to break ♪

♪ Through a ceiling ♪

[audience laughs and cheers]

♪ Flexible ♪

♪ Just another
word for liberal ♪

[audience laughs]

- [Irin] She did not get
to sing the arias herself.

She always says, "I'd have
the voice of a sparrow."

- I had a wonderful time.
I loved every minute of it.

The song that they sang tonight,

"We are different, we are one,"

I think that captures it.

♪ We are different ♪

- [Ruth] We each understand
the way the other thinks.

♪ We are one ♪

[soft poignant
instrumental music]

- He was indeed a
magnificent performer.

How blessed I was to
have a working colleague

and dear friend of such
captivating brilliance,

high spirits, and quick wit.

In the words of a
duet for tenor Scalia

and soprano Ginsburg,
"We were different."

Yes, in our interpretation
of written text,

yet one in our
reverence for the court

and its place in the US.

[audience applauds]

♪ Ruth Bader Ginsburg ♪

♪ Doctor of law ♪

♪ Come to hear us at the opera ♪

♪ Direct from the
Supreme Court ♪

[audience cheers and applauds]

- A lot of law students go
straight into the world of work,

but one of the
transition points to get

into the world of
work is clerking.

Clerking is an opportunity
to get behind the scenes

and see a little bit of
how judges make decisions,

which is an
invaluable experience.

[melancholy contemplative
instrumental music]

I got very lucky. Yes, I did.

I got very lucky, yes.

Working for Justice
Ginsburg was,

in addition to a great honor,

just a tremendous
learning experience.

She's a meticulous editor.
She's a very independent writer.

She's a very
independent thinker.

It was a somewhat
unusual year because

of the Bush versus Gore case.

- [Man] The Supreme Court
has, for the first time

in American history, decided
to step into a legal dispute

in the midst of a
presidential election.

[crowd chanting indistinctly]

- That's not every term that
you get something like that.

- [Ted] This is something
that is unprecedented

in the state of Florida.

That's another change
that took place.

- [Ruth] Mr. Olson, you
have said the intent

of the voters simply won't do.

It's too vague.
It's too subjective.

But at least, at
least those words,

intent of the voter,
are for the legislature.

- One of the most
remarkable things, I felt,

in watching her up
close during that time

was that she never
lost her cool.

But in the main, you
get to see a little bit

of how the court functions
as an institution

and how the nine
justices decide cases.

I've asked her
about how she thinks

about all the work
she's done as a judge,

and one of the things
she told me is,

"Do your best work
on every case,

decide it, and then let it go."

You cast your vote or
your write your opinion,

and there's the next
case and the next case.

That's true, but your brief
contains not a single example

of anything else
you think is exempt

from this prohibition
other than a law license.

She's been an incredible mentor

to me well past
that single year.

I've had the great
privilege of remaining

in contact with her.

She's every bit the
person she was. [laughs]

And the current
current challenges?

- The statute books
that were once riddled

with overt sex-based

in the decade of the 70s,
almost all of them were gone.

What's left and is
harder to get at

is what I call unconscious bias.

Sometimes, it's a
device that works

to overcome unconscious bias,

and my example of that is
the symphony orchestra.

When I was growing up,
you never saw a woman

except playing the harp.

Someone had the bright
idea of dropping a curtain

so the people who were
conducting the audition

didn't know if it
was a woman or a man.

And with that simple
change, the dropped curtain,

almost overnight, women
started to show up

in symphony orchestras.

Not only do we audition
behind a curtain,

but we audition shoeless.

[soft contemplative
instrumental music]

- So you now sit on a court
that has three women on it.

I actually sit on a court
that has the majority

of women on it, including
a woman as chief justice.

Do you think that the law
would be much different

if there were, say,
four or five women

on the US Supreme Court?

- I think it's pretty good
that we have three now.

Three makes the big difference

because we're all
over the bench,

and I sit toward the middle

because I've been
around so long.

[audience laughs]

And if any of you have come to
watch the show at the court,

you know that my
newest colleagues

are not shrinking violets.

[audience laughs]

And yet there are some
cases that at least I think

would have come
out the other way

if there were five
women or more,

and one of them is
Lilly Ledbetter's case.

Every woman understood
Lilly's problem.

[contemplative music]
[car whooshing past]

Lilly was a woman who worked
in a Goodyear tire plant.

She was an area manager.

She was hired in the 1970s

when only men were
doing that job.

She was the first woman.

- There was a huge writeup in
the "Business Week" magazine

about Goodyear Gadsden.

They were going to
start hiring women

and minorities into
management positions.

They offered me a
job, but I was told,

"You will never
discuss your pay."

And no one would ever say
anything about their pay.

It was a good job for a
woman. Goodyear was hard work.

I knew it was hot
in the factory.

I knew it was dirty,
but I continued to
work extremely hard,

extremely cautious, because
I knew, being a woman,

I could not make a mistake.

[traffic whooshing past]

I'd gone in to do
my 12-hour shift,

pulled out all my paperwork,
and this whole piece

of paper had first
names, base pay.

I knew when I saw mine.

It was exactly to the dollar,

which was an odd amount, 3,727.

The other three on
that piece of paper

was almost $6,000
a month base pay.

- She was at rock bottom.

The young man that
she had trained

was getting more
money than she was.

- I was embarrassed.
I was humiliated.

I tried to figure out
where did this come from?

Who knew this? I've still
got two kids in college.

I've still got a house mortgage.

I've still got car payments.

I can't quit. I can't quit.

I can't go home. I've
got to do this shift.

I told my husband when
I got home that morning,

"This is not right what's been
done to me and my family."

So I started searching
for an attorney

that could take my case
on a contingence basis,

and we went all the way
to the Supreme Court.

[dramatic music]

- [John] We'll
hear argument next

in Ledbetter versus Goodyear
Tire and Rubber Company.

- Mr. Chief Justice, and
may it please the court.

A jury found that at the time
petitioner filed her charge

of discrimination with the EEOC,

respondent was paying her
less for each week's work

than it paid male employees and

that it did so
because of her sex.

The question for the court
is whether that treatment,

because of sex, constituted
a violation of Title VII.

- I went to the Supreme Court,

and I looked up on the beach,

and there's that Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

- Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964

outlawed discrimination
on the basis

of race, national origin,
religion, and sex.

The employer knew
that every woman

is being paid less
than every man.

Why isn't that sufficient
under Title VII?

- [Man] Justice Ginsburg,
Title VII allows proof

of dissimilar
treatment as evidence

of present intentional

but it's not the
elements of the client.

- I continued to believe
and I continued to hope

that when that verdict came out,

that it would be in my favor.

- [John] Justice Alito has
our opinion this morning

in case 05-1074.

- [Samuel] A jury returned
a verdict in her favor

on the Title VII claim,
but the 11th circuit,

applying our precedence,
held that Ledbetter

had filed her EEOC
charge too late.

We therefore affirm the
judgment of the 11th circuit.

[somber music]

- Because of a procedural
interpretation of
employment law,

a majority of the Supreme
Court said that Lilly Ledbetter

could not bring her case
because her time had expired.

Now, Justice Ginsburg had
had her own experiences

with pay discrimination.

When she was at
Rutgers, she was told,

"We couldn't possibly
pay you what we pay a man

because your husband
makes a good salary."

- When Justice Ginsburg
read that dissent,

that changed everything totally.

- [Ruth] Four members
of this court,

Justices Stevens,
Souter, Breyer,

and I dissent from
today's decision.

In our view, the court
does not comprehend

or is indifferent
to the insidious way

in which women can be victims
of pay discrimination.

This is not the
first time this court

has ordered a cramped

of Title VII incompatible

with the statute's
broad remedial purpose.

Today, the ball again
lies in Congress's court

to correct this
court's parsimonious
reading of Title VII.

- Earlier this week,
Lilly Ledbetter wrote

to the entire
Congress, and I quote,

"I am still fighting
for all the other women

and girls out there
who deserve equal pay

and equal treatment
under the law."

[audience applauds]

- [Man] Ladies and gentlemen,

the president of
the United States,

accompanied by Mrs.
Lilly Ledbetter.

[audience cheers and applauds]

- I knew walking down that hall

that that was going
to change the country,

and it was going to change
the life of a lot of people.

- Making our economy work
means making sure it works

for everybody, that there
are no second class citizens

in our workplaces, and
that it's not just unfair

and illegal, it's bad for
business to pay somebody less

because of their gender
or their age or their race

or their ethnicity,
religion, or disability.

[audience cheers and claps]
[moving instrumental music]

- Justice Ginsburg
loves this example

because it's a dialogue between
the branches of government.

Her goal was to build consensus.

Her famous friendship
with Justice Scalia,

I believe, is also a measure
of her commitment to reaching

across the aisle and working
with people out of a belief

that the court is a
sacred institution

and it works better when
there's a sort of collegiality.

You can agree or disagree
without being disagreeable.

- If you've ever met
Justice Ginsburg,

you would know that she's an
incredibly soft-spoken person.

She's very savvy, but Marty
is the more ebullient half

of that pairing.

Whenever there was a
birthday in chambers,

Marty would make some
out of this world dessert

of some sort, and
we would have tea

and dessert in the
justices' chambers.

It was very nice.

And then we also had
dinner at her apartment,

and Marty cooked,
which was a real treat.

[bright lilting
instrumental music]

He was a wise cracker,
a chronic, incorrigible
wise cracker,

and that was their shtick
was he was the funny one,

she was the straight one,
and that's how they behaved.

[somber piano music]

- Marty was my
biggest supporter.

He gave me the courage to
believe I could do things

that I wasn't sure
I was able to do.

- Marty Ginsburg made sure
that the president knew

about just one judge on
the DC circuit at that time

who had made enormous
contributions to the law,

particularly for women.

- She wouldn't be
on the Supreme Court

if it weren't for Marty.

He was her campaign manager.

He really managed a war
room, and I was part

of the war team trying
to get people to weigh in

and write letters to make
sure that those people

were run down and gathered up.

- I think that having another
woman in the Supreme Court

is central to the importance
of what's going on today,

and I think that
Judge Ginsburg's sex
is not irrelevant.

- Weinberger versus Wiesenfeld
was a landmark decision

in the quest for equal
rights for men and women.

I wish to see this committee

confirm Judge Ruth
Bader Ginsburg

to the United States
Supreme Court.

[slow poignant music]

- I have a feeling probably
the last thing Marty said

to Ruth was, "Hang in there.

Keep going. Just keep going.

I'll be watching."

- [Kathleen] They were
devoted to each other.

She had what people have
when their partner's gone,

figuring out who I am.

- He will be present in
my life as long as I live.

I have his portrait
in my bedroom,

and I look at it and say,

"You would probably like
what I'm doing now."

Look at the preamble
to our Constitution.

It says, "We, the people
of the United States,

in order to form a
more perfect union."

Who are we, the people,
in the beginning?

White property-owning men.
Who are we, the people, today?

The United States in
all of its diversity,

and I think the genius
of this document

that was written toward
the end of the 18th century

and has governed us
for well over 200 years

is that it is ever
becoming more perfect,

and we, the people is ever
becoming more inclusive.

- The irony of Justice
Ginsburg's time on Supreme Court

is that she has spent most
of it be a great dissenter.

[slow melancholy music]

- She dissents with an
eye towards making change,

with an eye towards
either Congress

or a future court
vindicating her position.

She dissents with a purpose.

- [Ruth] Justices
Steven, Souter, Breyer,

and I strongly descent
from today's opinion.

[echoing boom]

- [Woman] Five to four was
the Supreme Court vote.

- [Barbara] This begins to
chip away at Roe V Wade.

- [John] I have filed
a separate opinion

that Justice Ginsburg,
Justice Breyer,

and Justice Sotomayor
have joined.

We dissent from the
court's decision

to strike down a key
part of that statute.

[contemplative music]

[echoing boom]

- [Woman] It has been called one

of the biggest threats
to our democracy.

That ruling allowed
big companies,

including foreign corporations,

to spend unlimited amounts of
money to influence elections.

- [Ruth] I dissent
from today's decision.

John Thompson spent 14
years isolated on death row

before the truth came to light.

The lab reported
to the prosecutors

that the perpetrator's
blood type was B.

Thompson's blood type is O.

[discordant tense music]

[echoing boom]

- [Man] They cannot pay him
all of the years that he lost?

- [Woman] Reporters
say he should never

have been convicted
in the first place.

- Justices Breyer, Sotomayor,
Kagan, and I dissent.

[melancholy music]

- [Shana] I was following
the Supreme Court

and had been looking
towards the decision

that was gonna come out,

particularly in the
voting rights case,

Shelby County V Holder.

- [Ruth] The Voting Rights Act

addresses an
extraordinary problem,

a near century of
disregard for the dictates

of the 15th Amendment,

and Congress has taken
extraordinary measures

to meet the problem.

- She dissented from the
majority's basically striking

down one of the most
important pieces

of civil rights
legislation in our history.

[crowd singing and
chanting indistinctly]

- The great man who led the
March from Selma to Montgomery

and there called for the
passage of the Voting Rights Act

foresaw progress,
even in Alabama.

"The arc of the moral
universe is long," he said,

"but it bends toward justice,"

if there is a
steadfast commitment

to see the task
through to completion.

That commitment has been
disserved by today's decision.

- She actually had an edit,

which I find hilarious
because most people think,

"MLK, he's got this.

I'm not going to add or amend."

But she said, "If there
is a steadfast commitment

to see the task to completion."

It is vintage Ginsburg.

She's experienced enormous
sadness in her life.

She's lived through
backlashes to her life's work.

We're in the middle of
a backlash right now,

and yet she has
kept on fighting.

- I couldn't believe that
five justices had just decided

that the Voting Rights Act
was no longer necessary,

that racism had been eradicated,

and that all of these
problems of the 1960s just

didn't matter anymore in
terms of voting rights.

And her words in that
moment really spoke to me.

Basically, throwing away
the Voting Rights Act

was "like throwing
away an umbrella

in a rainstorm because
you're not getting wet."

And I just thought that
was just so perfect

in encapsulating how absurd
what the court was doing,

and that was the first
quote that I posted

on "Notorious RBG."

["William Tell Overture"]

That was the period of time
where Tumblr was most popular.

But I just didn't
have any expectation

that it was going to
explode the way that it did.

- I was just looking
at Tumblr today.

[audience laughs]

Bobblehead because
the head bobbles.

[audience laughs]

- [Unison] Ruth
Bader Ginsburg. Ooh.

[audience laughs and applauds]

[audience laughs]

- How did this happen?

[audience laughs]

- It's amazing, and to
think of me an icon at 82.

[audience laughs and applauds]

And at first, I didn't know
quite what to make of this

because I didn't even know
who Notorious BIG was.

[audience laughs and applauds]

- And that's what I think
made it so popular is that it

was this juxtaposition of these
completely different people

but also experienced hardships
in their lives and dealt

with it by pushing back and
speaking truth to power.

[soft lilting
instrumental music]

- My editor connected
me with Irin.

We agreed to work together.

- [Irin] We wanted to capture
that kind of spontaneity,

the visual lushness, and
also turn it into a story.

- What is going on that she has
become this cult figure now?

- Women are drawn to
her, and young people

in particular are drawn to her.

[muffled chatter]

- She just is who she is.

She's very confident,
very aware of herself.

- She believes in
what she believes in,

and she's gonna say it.

She's not worried about
what people think about her.

- When I became a
Supreme Court justice,

there were six
women in the Senate.

Now there are 20.

I was the second woman
on the Supreme Court,

and when Justice O'Connor
met, I was all alone.

Now I have two colleagues,
Justice Sonia Sotomayor

and Justice Elena Kagan.

People ask me,

"Well, when do you think
there will be enough?"

I'd say, "Well, when
there are nine,"

and people are aghast.

We've had nine men for most
of the country's history,

and no one thought there was
anything wrong with that.

- And I looked up at the bench
on which I sat for 25 years,

and what could I see?

I saw on the far right a woman,
on the far left side a woman

and near the middle a
woman, and it was dazzling.

[audience cheers and applauds]

- It's the first time
the public can see we

are really there,
really there to stay,

not one at a time curiosities.

[audience applauds]

At my age, you have to
take it year by year.

I know I'm okay this year,
but what will be next year?

I'm hopeful, however, because
my most senior colleague,

Justice John Paul Stevens,
stepped down at age 90.

So I have a way to go.

- [Man] A lot of people have
been expressing encouragement

that you eat more
kale, so to speak.

[audience laughs]

- The number one
thing people ask me

when I talk about Justice
Ginsburg is, "How is her health?

How's she doing?"

Then they ask, "How can
we keep her alive forever?

Can I give her a kidney?"
I hear that a lot.

[chuckles] She doesn't
need one. She's great.

She's in great shape.

- I have a personal trainer
who keeps me in shape.

We meet twice a week,
and we do 20 pushups

and then the plank,
which I think is harder,

with Bryant Johnson, my
trainer, my trainer since 1999.

[upbeat lively music]

I attribute my wellbeing
the two hours a week

when I devote to that.

- Let's get fully
ripped and exploded.

Let's get shredded.
Let's get stupid strong.

- Let's go.

- [Neil] Judging from
her push-up regimen,
she is not done.

Justice, welcome.

[audience applauds]

- The term just
ending was momentous.

Our docket included far
more than the usual number

of high-profile disputes.

But topping the headline news
at our closing conference,

Justice Kennedy announced his
retirement effective today.

Counting his years as a judge
of the US Court of Appeals

for the 9th Circuit,

he has served on the federal
judiciary for 43 years.

[audience applauds]

- How has the court changed
over the quarter century

that you've served on it?

How is it different
than when you started?

- Well, one thing
that isn't different

is the collegiality of the
court, and that remains.

Of course, I miss my
favorite sparring partner,

Justice Scalia,

[soft poignant music]

but you don't see that kind

of friendship existing
in our Congress anymore.

It once did.

I hope it will again.

There was a great man once
said "that the true symbol

of the United States
is not the bald eagle.

It is the pendulum.

And when the pendulum swings
too far in one direction,

it will go back."

I grew up at the
time of World War II.

The irony was we were
fighting a war against racism,

and yet by an executive
order of President Roosevelt,

people who had
done nothing wrong

except they were of
Japanese ancestry,

were interned in camps
far from their homes.

That was a dreadful mistake.

Well, I would say that we
are not experiencing the best

of times, but my
dream is that we

will get back to it one day.

I think it will
take a strong people

from both parties to say,

"Let's get together and work
for the good of the country."

Let's try in the
aisle. Yes, yes.

- If you could predict,
how many more years

do you think it'll be until
a woman becomes president?

- [Ruth] How many do you think?

- The year?
- Year? [laughs]

- Well, I will predict that it
will happen in your lifetime.

I'm not certain it
will happen in mine,

but I will make a prediction
that it will happen,

that you will see a woman as
president of the United States.

[soft poignant music]

- Recognizing that this
is probably the last time

that the American people
will ever have a chance

to glimpse you as a
person and what you

would like them to think most
of all when they think of you?

- As someone who
cares about people

and does the best she can
with the talent she has

to make a contribution

for a better world.

[soaring moving music]

- How long was you working
at the Supreme Court?

- How long have you been
working at the Supreme Court?

- Almost 24 years.

[kid gasps loudly]
[audience laughs]

- I found it the most popular
question on a college campus,

young women want to know
what kind of tires do I buy?

Don't buy Goodyear.

- He never paid me. I never
received my dollar to this day.

We still talk, but I
never received my dollar.

- I've argued five times
in the Supreme Court.

Justice Ginsburg asks
terrific questions.

They always go to the
very heart of the case.

I just wish sometimes she
would speak a little bit louder

when she was asking
her questions.

- Professor Nabokov of
changed the way I read,

and he changed the way I write.

Even when I'm drafting opinion,

thinking how the word order
should go I remember him.

- [Man] Is there a reason

why you prefer
gender discrimination

instead of sex discrimination?

- In the 70s when I was writing
briefs, I had a secretary,

and she said, "I've been typing
this word, sex, sex, sex,

and let me tell you.

Use the word gender.

It will ward off
distracting associations."

[audience laughs]

- The analogy is apt in
that both Thurgood Marshall

with Ruth Bader Ginsburg
were using the law

in a creative way to
advance civil rights.

- My dear mother-in-law
gave me some counsel.

She said, "Remember that
in every good marriage,

it helps sometimes to be
a little hard of hearing."

[audience laughs and applauds]
[pleasant lilting music]

- Your marriage is one reason
we decided to give it a shot.

- Equal Rights Amendment was
intended to prevent government

from slotting a person
solely on the basis of sex.

The amendment arms the judiciary
with a bedrock principle.

all men and all
women are entitled

to equal justice under law.

Thank you.

[audience applauds]