Summary: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared at NYU Law School to deliver a talk to students and faculty.
NYU Law School welcomed a living legend to their campus on Monday, February 5, 2018. United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a progressive and liberal member of the court, appeared at the law school to discuss legal topics with students and faculty.
The appearance of a Supreme Court Justice at NYU Law has not happened since November 2016 when the school hosted Sonia Sotomayor, according to the Washington Square News. NYU Law’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging has been bringing in speakers as part of a series. Three NYU Law organizations sponsored her appearance – Law Women, Women of Color Collective and the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership. Professor of Constitutional Law Kenji Yoshino moderated the Q&A session with Ginsburg.
There was obviously a great deal of interest in her appearance. The amount of interest was so overwhelming that not all those that registered for the event were able to get a seat in the John L. Tishman Auditorium. To accommodate the numbers, the organizers set up another room with a live stream for the extra attendees to watch the event.
Ginsburg talked about a variety of topics including abortion rights for women and support for the #MeToo movement. This delved into her experiences as a woman in the legal industry. She served several years as the only female justice on the Supreme Court. She said, “The worst period was when I was lone woman on the court, when there were eight rather well-fed men, and there was little me.” Now there are three women on the Supreme Court and as Ginsburg notes, “Anyone who observes court proceedings will confirm that my female colleagues are not shrinking violets.”
Ginsburg has experienced being one of the only women in law since she was young. In law school, there were only nine women, including her, out of 500 students in her class. She acknowledges that women have come a long way in the field of law but there is still a lot of progress to be made. In a comment to the audience, Ginsburg expressed her desire for an “equal protection” amendment to the Constitution to ensure equal legal treatment of women and men. She said, “I want my granddaughters to see what are the fundamental tenets of our society. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that men and woman are people of equal citizenship stature.”
Ginsburg ended her talk by reminiscing about her relationship with conservative former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The two had a bipartisan friendship from the collaborative structure of the court in addition to their shared love of opera and enjoyment in making each other laugh. “An important consideration is the welfare of the institution you work. The Supreme Court is the most collegial atmosphere of anywhere else I’ve worked, because we all revere the Constitution and the judiciary, which pulls us together,” she added.
NYU Law students loved the opportunity to hear from and talk with a Supreme Court Justice. Student Christine said, “Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I’m so glad that we had this opportunity.”
Which Supreme Court Justice would you love to hear from? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
To learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, read these articles:
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg Said She Is Not Going Anywhere
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg Named Woman of the Year by Glamour
- Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Sisters of the Law