All Rise for RBG

9781501145247_4fd79The Supreme Court Justice who has become an unlikely cultural icon, complete with her own Rap nick name, the Notorious RBG (also the title of a  best selling book), has published  My Own Words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is a collection of writings and speeches on a wide range of legal and social issues, such as gender equality, but also her life, such as her love of opera and being Jewish.

Jane Pauley, who just taken over as the hots of CBS Sunday Morning, interviews the justice, calling her life one of “achievement and loss.” Just two days before she graduated from high school her mother died, leaving Ginsburg with advice she has never forgotten, “She said two things: Be a lady and be independent. Be a lady meant don’t give way to emotions that sap your energy, like anger. Take a deep breath and speak calmly.”

Perhaps part of being a lady as well are the collars RBG is so famous for wearing. She shows Pauley a few, including her “dissenting collar — It’s black and grim.”

After graduating first in her class from Columbia law school she got no job offers. She says, quoting another overlooked female law expert, “my dear colleague, Sandra Day O’Connor, put that very well. She said, ‘If Ruth and I came of age at a time when there was no discrimination against women, we would be retired partners in a major law firm.’”

Her achievements are many but her first national test came in 1972 when she wrote the first Supreme Court brief on gender discrimination. She is also remarkably collegial. She calls the Court the most collegial place she has ever worked and is famous for her friendship with the late Antonin Scalia.

A workaholic, she says “I will do this job as long as I feel that I can do it full steam. At my age, you have to take it year by year. So this year I know I’m fine. What will be next year or the next year? I can’t predict.”

Ginsburg will also be featured on CBS This Morning, PBS’s Newshour, and Charlie Rose.

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