The Place of Women on the Nation’s Highest Court: An Interview with Ruth Bader Ginsberg

“It’s almost like being back in law school in 1956, when there were 9 of us in a class of over 500, so that meant most sections had just 2 women, and you felt that every eye was on you. Every time you went to answer a question, you were answering for your entire sex. It may not have been true, but certainly you felt that way. You were different and the object of curiosity.”
-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg-

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the lone woman on the Supreme Court these days (although, perhaps for not much longer). The New York Times has a nice interview with her, covering everything from Sandra Day O’Connor to Sonia Stotomayor. Ruth digs into current and past Supreme Court cases, her legal career and answers some interesting questions about gender and the legal system.

Here is a funny excerpt:

Q: Do you think if there were more women on the court with you that other dynamics would change?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: I think back to the days when — I don’t know who it was — when I think Truman suggested the possibility of a woman as a justice. Someone said we have these conferences and men are talking to men and sometimes we loosen our ties, sometimes even take off our shoes. The notion was that they would be inhibited from doing that if women were around. I don’t know how many times I’ve kicked off my shoes. Including the time some reporter said something like, it took me a long time to get up from the bench. They worried, was I frail? To be truthful I had kicked off my shoes, and I couldn’t find my right shoe; it traveled way underneath.

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