tv Book Discussion on Sisters in Law CSPAN September 20, 2015 9:00am-9:53am EDT
>> welcome to politics and prose. my name is justin come on the programs manager at the store. >> louder. >> i could also try to speak a closer. thank you all for coming out tonight. we are honored here to have linda hirshman. first lap if you standard house does. that would be the time to turn off any electronic devices that may be tempted to beep or buzz throughout the proceeding. linda will be taking questions in the second half of the event. we ask that she is one of two microphones. it looks like there is just one tonight on my left. that what everyone here can hear it and will be on all recordings. at the end if you could help us out by folding the pictures and resting them against something sturdy out will help up with the cleanup process. now onto linda hirshman. she's a former professor at brandeis university with a law degree from the university of chicago and a ph.d in philosophy. she practiced law for 15 years
during which she appeared before the supreme court three different cases. and since she has published several nonfiction works, including but not limited to victory, trial but for the gay revolution and get to work, a manifesto for women of the world a nation is published "sisters in law: how sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg went to the supreme court and changed the world." while suffering explicit discrimination in the early days and then even after posting impressive marks while at harvard law school, eventually, jumps over a bit of material, but eventually president reagan saw in sandra day o'connor the need for for for a campaign promise he made to appoint a female justice. still later president clinton skeptical at first was won over to quickly after meeting with
bitter ginsburg, just since one over the hearts of many more of course and now that that's important accrue chissano fans simulcasts being asked about retirement and are peaking popularity. [laughter] but anyway from the book's opening reader see the type of you building and determination that each displayed in different ways throughout their careers. as the top -- subtitles its teachings world. i think i'll get out of the way and let linda to more of the story. i just ask that you help me and walking her to politics and prose. [applause] >> thank you, politics -- okay, right. thank you, politics and prose for having me come and welcome everyone, thank you so much for coming out on this hot night.
each it is my own very special friend and thank you to my sister, judith tom and my daughter sarah, both of whom are in the audience tonight, and both of whom came far away to be a tonight. yankee. "sisters in law" is the story of the two most important women in america. to date, the first female justice of the supreme court of the united states, sandra day o'connor, and her sister-in-law, the second female justice of the supreme court, ruth bader ginsburg. it is the story of their private and public lives, and how they got legal equality for women again as the book says, changed the world. the book opens in 1996 when they are at the pinnacle of their
power. and if you will tolerate i will just read you a bit of my -- i love this partner by the time the nation celebrates the birth of its democracy each fourth of july, the nine justices of the supreme court have mostly left down. but before departing the capital for the summer recess they must first decide all the cases that they have heard since the current term began the previous october. the hardest most controversial cases where the unelected court orders a society to change in a big way, are often left to the end. as the days for decision take a weight in late june, attention in the courtroom is has hot and heavy as the washington summer air.
and the morning of june 26, 1996, justice ruth bader ginsburg, a psycho woman appointed to the high court since its founding, slipped -- the second woman -- and took her seat at the and. sandra day o'connor, the first woman on the supreme court. each woman justice had a white ornamental call on her somber black robe but there was obviously b-22 them between there was any link between the other justices. on that day, however, the public got a rare glimpse of the ties that bound the two most powerful women in the land. speaking from the depths of the high back chair that towered over her tiny frame, justice ginsburg delivered the decision of the court in united states versus virginia.
from that morning in june 1996, virginia's state-run virginia military institute which a trained young men since before the civil war would have to take females into its ranks. the constitution of the united states which required the equal protection of the laws for all persons, including women, demanded it. you people listening, you, that ginsburg got to speak for the court that morning because her sister-in-law, justice o'connor, had decided that she should. after the justices voted in congress to admit women to vmi, the most senior justice in the majority, or the chief justice is he is in the majority, gets to assign the opinion. to anyone who agrees with the majority. that's how it works.
he assigned it to the senior woman, sandra day o'connor, but she would not take it. she knew who had labored as a supreme court lawyer at the supreme court for the american civil liberties union from 1971-1980, to get the court to call women equal. this should be ruth, she said. on decision day justices did not -- which can often run courses of pages. that morning ginsburg chose to include in their summer reading a reference to justice o'connor's 1982 decision in hogan versus mississippi. o'connor's opinion from 15 years before for the closely divided court in hogan, ginsburg reminded her listeners, have laid down the role that states may not close entrance gates
based on six notions concerning the roles and abilities of males and females, end quote. and then ginsburg, the legendarily undemonstrative injustice, lifted her eyes from her text and paused, and beating the glance of her sister-in-law from across the bench, she thought of the legacy that you are building together. and she nodded at sandra day o'connor, and resumed reading her opinion. [applause] it's not me. it's a great story. what inspired me to write it? how could you not write it? three years ago long before rb jihad become an internet icon, i realized -- rbg had become an
internet icon, i realized what had written a story about her career. i found the subject it was brilliant and wonderful and no one had thought to write on. why do we care about her story? not just because she became supreme court justice. there are lots of supreme court justices whose lives we don't care much about. many of whom nonetheless are the subject of incredibly boring biographies. [laughter] we care about ruth bader ginsburg because she changed the world. and if you take a drug female supreme court justices who change the world, you cannot leave out the ones who came first, sandra day o'connor here one of the many great discoveries i made when i was writing the book was how much of the law making women equal actually came from o'connor when she was the only woman on the record from 1981-1993. as we think of ruth bader
ginsburg as the thurgood marshall of the women's movement as president clinton called her, but all of the sex discrimination under sexual harassment law that has made the world a better place for women actually came from the court went o'connor was on it and a lot of it came fro from o'connor concluding her crucial fifth vote that she cast in hogan just months after she arrived as the first woman on the supreme court. the icing on the cake is that they not only made the change, they live the change they were making. so their lives, including their work, were actually very interesting. they live in a hostile world. they changed it. they lived in the world bank change. they used the power that they've gained through the change to make more change. rbg is still doing it, right? i think that's what people are
saying with a tone of surprise, which i of course present, that the supreme court our previous actually a page turner. this book is a page turner. our readers a blog called wieder lee, i love that, let's see, published a column called eight books we love and said hirschman's book may look imposing that she presents the subjects in such a rich and engaging manner that the pages will fly. and what an engaging story i had. republicans, democrats, isolated cattle ranch, flatbush, goldwater girl. blonde, brunette, what could be a deeper divide and that? i'm acquitted of all the cool things i've done in the three years i worked on the public at the letters and includes a large that it never been looked at by
a writer before, unpublished letters just like something from henry james stewart shorey -- short story. just consider the bare facts. sandra day o'connor was born in 1930 and was on a ranch in southeast arizona. vendors school was three hours away and it was for some time no running water. for eight years she was an only child. one day when she was around 155 after to drive the range truck and bring lunch to the calico who rounded up some cap and remote part of this giant range. she set out. part way there she got a flat tire. now, i live in arizona and i'm telling you, you can die from the. she was in the middle, she was in the middle of the places that had no roads and there was nobody else coming by.
she had to change the tire. so she got out and started trying to change the tire and she wasn't strong enough to get a like nuts lives. so she took the ranch, but on the lug nuts, jumped on the ranch with the full weight of her body to loosen the nuts so that she could take them off and put the spare tire on come and drive the truck with a lunch to work the cattle crew and her father were waiting to enter father said, you're late. [laughter] and she said, i had a flat tire. and he said, you should have left sooner. and she learned that there were no excuses. even if you had a good excuse, you didn't have an excuse. you simply have to come as she sets off into itself, just do
it. and she also learned that you give no quarter from a more powerful man. you have to satisfy him, however unreasonable his demands are. a year later, i think i'm related to the tire change incident, she left and went to stanford. where would you rather be come on that ranch? she was 16. she medicare's medic mentor, henry, a motivator to go to law school. she went to law school college and law school in six years. made law review and nonetheless when she got out of stanford second or third in her class at stanford, she couldn't get a job. with a law firm. she couldn't get a job practicing law. gibson dunn offered her job as a legal secretary. watching the stanford she met --
had three children. she got her first job by agreeing to work for nothing. she went to a county attorney and said, you hired a woman once i hear. hire me. is that i have no money. she said i will wait and take it and appropriation. he said eye of the wind. she said i will put my desk in with her secretary. she seems to like me, hud. everybody liked the young and very charismatic and very beautiful sandra day o'connor. she and john moved to phoenix and she rose to become the vice chairman of the maricopa county, that's a county where phoenix is, the maricopa county republican party. a republican credentials are crucial to her story as i explain in the book. from their she went through the arizona legislature and became an arizona appellate judge. greg boyd came when a friend of her -- have great point came
when a friend decided he would take chief justice warren burger on a boat trip. john's brother law was just aspergers administrative assistant, and berger was in arizona going to a conference in flagstaff. so went o'connor's a friend found out that berger was an arizona, he decided the chief justice of the united states need to go on a houseboat trip on lake powell updated grand canyon. so do i going to surprise just as berger said he would like to go. but didn't post realize he had nothing to say to the chief justice of the united states. he had dealt with not even a lawyer. he and his wife and her brother-in-law decided that they would invite john and sandra day o'connor. and it is evident the world she lived in that the host pick up
the phone and called john o'connor, not judge o'connor. called john o'connor and his lover message you want to go on a boat trip with warren burger? in 1980 president ronald reagan decided that he would campaign in part on offering to put a woman on the supreme court the next time a vacancy came open. and people speculate that warren burger played a very big role in giving her that appointment. he just flipped over her in a houseboat to use to disappear after dinner and post and stuff, i interviewed the host before he died. i've hours of tapes from a. so this is all new material. they would look for them in burger at a controversy in a corner of the houseboat chatting away like great older friends. chose now to get along with more powerful man. she was terrific at that. across the country in 1933 ruth
bader ginsburg, well, ruth, was born to a modest family in flatbush. her father was a russian immigrant and he decided just as the depression dawned to become a furrier, not a brilliant idea. she went to school at the day before she graduated from high school her mother died. she was an only child to her sister had died of meningitis many years before so she was raised during the critical years as an only child. she went to cornell where they have a really wonderful hazard of treating women as equals. i went there myself. she, too, found a mentor, robert cushman, a very famous anti-mccarthy voice in the dark, dark days of the mccarthy period, which are mentor. she met and married martin ginsburg and their two children
in the ensuing years. she followed marty to harbor him when he went to new york to practice law, she left harvard law school and followed him to columbia. when her high school classmates from flatbush, many of whom who were in that class at columbia law school, right, found out that -- she was going to law school to finish up with them, they keep a collective sigh. they knew that each one of their class ranks would now go down by one. [laughter] and they did. she graduated first in her class at columbia. our teachers tried to get her a supreme court clerkship. you arguably is one of them smart people ever sat on a corporate package is a recognizer try to get her supreme court clerkship.
she wound up as a district court clerk and then she openly started her real career as an entry-level professor at rutgers law school. who -- after teaching a course in women and the law. she did a typical ginsburg conviction with a library to say either look it up and she got all these horrible laws about treating women badly and start taking cases from the local new jersey aclu. within months she was offered a job on the faculty at columbia which a just to get out they had no women on their faculty. anti-american, the national american civil liberties union started into the women's rights project invited her to run it. and she ran it for nine years.
and nine years she had six cases that she argued, and one she did a brief but didn't get to argue because the local lawyer would not let her go. shed six cases that she argued. she lost -- had five victories of cases he argued and she also won the case that she did the brief. i like the five k. system because -- jane austen had five great novels i like to say that ruth bader ginsburg had five great cases that it's really six. in a circular firing squad known as the feminist movement, bu noe ever took a shot at rbg. one of the people i interviewed said she could say the most outrageous things, into a soft little voice. if i knew how to such an outrageous things and get away with it, i would do it myself. when jimmy carter to the white house he appointed her to the
d.c. circuit. and then when bill clinton was elected in 1993 he put her on the supreme court of the united states. those are the facts, but hundreds of thousands of women who went to college in those years, and hundreds if not thousands of women went to law school. and they did not as the book is subtitled go to the supreme court and change the world. how do they do it? how did they do it? interestingly, in much the same way. so although they look very different on the surface, in character they are actually rather similar. they never believed the story of their own inferiority. in their mind, the clock was not going to strike midnight and turned that into a podcast. they never believed they didn't internalize that social attitude
that women couldn't do it. they always thought they were entitled to rule. if you read their letters, as i did, you see this coming out as people's letters are revealing. loud and clear that they always thought they were title ii rolls. in 1993, one of ruth bader ginsburg's colleagues at columbia, a very well-known woman lawyer was appointed to general counsel of hhs. so she comes to d.c. and she meets ruth at a party. they have been colleagues at columbia law school and she says to ruth, hey, do you believe this? that two of us in such high positions, like certain -- i have no trouble at all believing it. believe they were entitled to rule, they treated their opponents and the male colleagues as if they were all members of the same elite club.
by the wonderful story in the book about that i got from letters about with as far as philip who is a big force against the equal rights and in a. she just treated that jerk who happened to also be my law professor as if they were colleagues. and as if she were exactly as well-positioned to say what went on, and he was. when pressed to admit they were inferior, they took offense at the legendary star about dean erwin griswold asking the eight women and was class at harvard have the -- taking the place of a man and a democrat or a special dinner party. he signed them mail campaigns from the male faculty to accompany them to the dinner party. he asked what they're doing at harvard taking the place of a man. griswold did this and does not so long ago, maybe 1956.
ruth gave a nazi to us answer. starting -- gave a ubiquitous energy. she started telling that story. she told that story so often that erwin griswold finally wrote a letter to the student paper at harvard saying it had been a joke. only kidding. only kidding. o'connor's tenure on the supreme court, delivered an over the top of skating interpersonal decent to one of her opinions. she never said a word, but he found that she was interested in being sweettalk into making images for him when he needed it. he was legendary. he called that dissent the worst mistake i ever made.
when they could not get even, they follow the advise that ruth got from her mother-in-law on her wedding day. sometimes martin ginsburg's mother told his bride on her wedding day and at a wedding gift of a pair of earplugs. sometimes his mother said it pays to be a little tough. in the early '70s when o'connor was involved in trying to pass it rights amendment, a great political friend and mentor barry goldwater posted. yet the goldwater published as a vision submission of the first person to see, they just didn't open, during these their years are full of the friendliest imaginable a note from o'connor. wind 10 years later in 1981, anti-abortion foe from arizona try to stop her from being put on the supreme court of the united states, goldwater went on record and say sandra day
o'connor's opponent should be spanked but sometimes it pays to be a little daft. you need to have an extraordinary degree of self-discipline is most important of all. they didn't think they were the only ones who deserve to rock. when o'connor received the news that president reagan had selected her for the supreme court, she had one concern. it was okay to be first, she said, but she did not want to be the last. they knew they were not alone. neither one of them thought it got to where they were because they were the most fabulously uniquely special women. there were no other woman to be pulled behind the. they demonstrated that commitment from the defensive. one of the reasons i honor them so much. barriers did not stop them.
mockery did not faze them. when ginsburg was nominated to the supreme court in 1993, someone sent her a facts to the facts told ginsburg that whenever harvard classmates had been talk about her at a meeting of his rotary club. so is talking to his rotary club, she's going to the supreme court. and her male classmate told the rotarians that the guys in ginsburg's law school class used to call her by the nickname bitch. ginzburg looked at this and said, better bitch -- looking back on her journey to the highest court in the land, better bitch then mouth. it's a great -- i will get t-shirts made.
[laughter] it's a great story, and i just think it would make a really wonderful musical. [laughter] thank you. [applause] >> if you would like to ask questions, if you don't ask questions i will call on you. i was a law professor for many years. i'm going to call on you and we will create a dialogue. so somebody, please. >> i have a really short and simple question. how did you or whomever come up with this brilliantly eloquent title of "sisters in law"? >> i was sitting at lunch with my agent, one point either brother david, and agent david,
so it's hard. so sitting at lunch with david and we're talking about the importance of relationships and stories about relationships. and he asked me whether i knew in my area of specialty people who had an extreme relationship and i said to him yes, as a matter of fact, i do. sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg. he led off. were sitting at lunch. and i said you know, you could call it "sisters in law." i've been in this business for a long time and never has one of my titles survived the publishing process. this title is the on the boat. i thought of that. thank you for asking. [applause] >> -- my favorite saying is well
behaved women never make history. >> never make change. >> thank you for being with us. as i understand it, president clinton first interviewed stephen breyer, and stephen breyer got out of, got up from a sick bed to go to that interview when it actually was running a fever, was not well at all. allegedly clinton was taken aback, said the man has no sense of humor. and then interviewed ruth bader ginsburg. i guess my question is, if breyer had been well and had interviewed more to clinton's liking, do you think when his second come and get nominated breyer as apparently his initial intent was, do you think years later he would been nominated ginsburg? >> it's hard to see.
he actually wanted mario cuomo, because he thought that earl warren have been so effective in managing the politics of the warren court and had persuaded -- he did what someone who would just be an ideologue for his position. bill clinton is not perfect, you can quote me on that. and mario cuomo was like the hamlet of the 20th century american fathers, could make up his mind what he wanted to supreme court justice or not. i don't know what the competition was, being an underwear buyer of bloomingdale's or something. he finally decided, clinton to start looking for other candidates. when clinton met ginsburg, and i pestered about it in the book, he was completely smitten with her. so it was, i don't know if he would have gone looking for if you put prior on first or too many people there considering. they were considering putting
some on who wasn't a lot at all, which apparently you can do. so you just don't know. i don't know. thank you. >> family in the audience. >> just a brief question. you talked about being, not which one is due to not being accepted in the court as an intern -- >> law clerk. >> law clerk. as justices have it brought in a number of women? i mean, did they go overboard with it, or what has been, as overboard, has it been equally -- >> no. they have not had only women law clerk. if i had to guess, i would say it's about 50/50. here's an interesting factoid.
sandra day o'connor, i'm not telling you another -- sandra day o'connor took more law clerks, these are the most cherished and competed for positions in the entire -- okay. she took more law clerks from the chamber of ruth bader ginsburg that she took from the chambers of any other lower court judge. you know, i got all the law clerks, i've got a printout of all the law clerks to see where they came from. >> i haven't read your book that may be covered in the book but could you talk about the friendship between ruth bader ginsburg and scalia. >> not very much. because they did not change the world, right? it just didn't change the world. i asked about it. i asked the judge, who i won't name, and he said he thought
that scalia played the role that martin ginsburg played for ruth bader ginsburg in their social life. so that when judges would go places come when justice would go places, school he would be like the funny talkative guy that did the social labor, like marty ginsburg did for the very retiring ruth bader ginsburg. but i did not, i didn't think it was as interesting as the partnership, the affection and the lights that change the world. >> justice o'connor was for so here's the swing vote on the court. when you are that, i guess the spotlight is on you. did she enjoy that role quite kitschy relish being the swing vote? >> loved it. she loved it. she's extremely directed concert telling people how to go places even when they don't need
direction. and when you drive with her in the car, i live in phoenix i know a lot of people who have known well before she was the queen on the queen scored. she tells you how to drive. she loved it. and she used it brilliantly. she used, the our skills available to come opportunity available in that position. you can threaten to concur. you can write letters to your brother and say you don't like this or that adhere constantly negotiate with you because you are the fifth of vote. it's an enormously powerful position. ruth bader ginsburg did more to change the world but she was never as powerful in a pure sense as sandra day o'connor was from 1987 when powell left and she became the crucial swing vote in 2005 at the end when she retired.
>> you said that when ruth bader ginsburg was asked to teach a course, should tha have a think about it and had to go to the library and do this sort of a crash course for herself. what you was at that? when she not involved in the movement, which are not aware of the women's movement? what was a relationship to the women's movement? >> it was like 70, right, right thing in a moment when women came flooding into the law school. and there were two women faculty members at rutgers. one of them is still teaching property somewhere, and the other one is ruth bader ginsburg. she knew nothing about it. they went to her because she was one of the two female faculty members, but i know that she went to sweden in 1963 because she was an expert, would you believe, in swedish civil procedure? so she went to sweden in 1963 or
1962, and that was the year when "the feminine mystique," the swedish version of "the feminine mystique" was published in sweden and it was the talk of all the cocktail parties and everything. so we know she had to have been exposed to the swedish movement. nonetheless, she's kept a very low profile at rutgers. she was pregnant with james, her son, and she wore her mother-in-law's big close to conceal her because she was afraid they would not promote or. a. so she kept a very low profile in those years and she described it as a road to damascus moment. but i don't agree with it. i think she was exposed to it in sweden, and that therefore she was reduce both are also from robert cushman, may he rest in peace, her wonderful mentor at cornell who is a true liberal
and talked her the theory of liberalism and how to think like a liberal. tfshe had the frameworks of understanding ready when she got out of cornell. thank you. that was a great question. >> you made a reference to try to interview either justice ginsburg or justice o'connor. did you try? >> let's have a vote. did i try? [laughter] thank you, audience. i know people who know them, right? after all these years in the business. and so they put me through to ruth and i correspond with her and she invited me to come to washington. and meet with her, which i did. had an interesting moment when i met with the. i had never actually physically been there but i was looking down at her since everybody looks. she looked up at me and she said you have huge blue eyes big and
i think she must've and beautiful when she was young, and she was. she said she would cooperate if center said it was okay. to one of the lessons of this book is that santa meant a lot more to her than some stranger come right? santa meant a lot more tour than almost anybody in her professional life. and so my friends in phoenix put me through to sandra, and i was sitting in my home office, like all writers, dressed in my bathrobe and covered with cracker crumbs. we all are like at 11:00 an aborted. and myself wondering and answered it. and honest to god a voice said, linda, this is a sandra o'connor. like yeah, right, it's my sister played a joke on me. i did was. she was calling to tell me why she would not cooperate. that was not a happy moment. so here's the bottom line. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. i just thought of that.
in fact, i had to work so hard to get the information the hard way. and so i found all this archival nature and stuff that nobody had seen or used. and then people started answering my phone calls. what i do take my phone calls because ruth bader ginsburg said she would not cooperate. this makes no sense. but you think they would call her and she would say we are not cooperating, but they were like chatty cathy. i'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. i am writing my book. about a year ago i went to the new york historical society to hear her speak, and in the audience were many of my sources. well, you know everybody who knew her. and afterward i was standing outside with my editor actually, gail winston coming from the sources recognize me and came up to me to say hello. and one of them said to me a year ago, you don't think we
talk to you without asking her, do you? i was kind of hoping i would look out here and see her sitting there. [laughter] i wanted to offer a ride in the hyper -- harpercollins limo. i think one day i went to my mailbox and it was a big envelope in it from the supreme court of the united states come and i thought to myself, being jewish, why did i do wrong? the supreme court is coming after me. biting back it was from ruth committee contain all of the speeches that should give them about o'connor after o'connor retired. and a nice note, and so i feel like, you know, i think she wanted to cooperate. at a few look at the whole record can which is all on
youtube, you see that they tell the same stories over and over again, as many very powerful and famous people do. they have their lives downtown and it's very hard to get them to reveal anymore. so in some ways i don't feel like i lost that much because that's what i'm not sure they would give me anything much but if there are mistakes in the book, it's their fault. [laughter] i asked. >> thank you very much for this incredible delightful presentation. i haven't read your book but i'm looking forward to it. my question is aside from the gender issue, as you look at the body of work of sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg come and uss it along the lines of looking back at someone like oliver wendell holmes, do you think that a century from now their work will be incredibly strong and work that will be viewed as really very, very important?
i'm just curious because they are not chiefs and ask if the chief justice is the one who gets the credit for what happened during the time period. >> i call it the warren court that many people think they should've called it the brain in court. it's hard to say. -- brennan. i thought about this a lot and i know a little bit about their federalism jurisprudence because one of the cases -- cases that i had, sandra day o'connor ruled against me. at that moment i would've traded or for any liberal male actually. [laughter] but i don't know a lot about their commerce clause and their regulation of business but i do know a lot about the administrative law decisions. i will say the following thing. for 20 years sandra day o'connor was often the crucial fifth vote.
and women did not have their abortions made criminal in those years, and they did not have to go down to the hotel to negotiate a raise with her male boss in those years because sandra day o'connor often provided the crucial fifth vote. or if she didn't she was in the conversation. and so their lives, our lives are better for 20 years. the court is targeted under some the things that should be. they are not attending those. so was 20 years of better life for the women of america worth, even if it -- at least for 20 years it was good. i don't think it's all going to be reversed. ginsburg great accomplish in his 15 years of litigation for the women's rights project. in that 10 year period she took the court from saying that any
law could say anything about women. there was no provision at all against laws that discriminated between men and women. they thought it was normal. frankford had just written an opinion of that back in 1961. sheet in 10 years, by the en enf the 10 years she brought a road outrageous case of someone who should never have one. and had to give her her victory because she she had one little case at a time, tied their fingers and then she tied her hands and then she tied her arms together to small clever woman got their stuff in the papers from the supreme court of that case because justice powell, kept his papers, bless his heart. and they are saying to each other we hate this, we don't have this outcome, we don't want to come to this, but they were honorable. that's a huge accomplishment also. now she will be the great
dissenter. you named oliver wendell holmes. >> that's right. >> thank you. great question. >> i guess if you didn't go into, i guess you don't want to tell us why sandra day o'connor didn't want to cooperate? >> someone called me a ring or. i was on the radio they had a ringer called in for new i didn't get the cooperation to ask whether i've gotten there cooperation. you should never start with me, right? a piece of it is confidential and i can't tell. is not in the book, and if i told you i would have to kill you. [laughter] >> i don't need to know that. >> it's not that important,
right. the piece i can tell you she is very domineering. she did not cooperate with joan biskupic. she wanted to tell her own story. which she told her brilliant in the book about the ranch, the lazy b. here's the sad thing. shall never get to tell that story. that ship has sailed. so she didn't cooperate with me, and i wrote the story. she could have had some influence, but she wouldn't. so that's the part i could share with you. she never cooperated with anyone telling her story. and she has a set pattern that she does. if you enter for the always get the same story. >> i also heard justice ginsburg speaks of years ago, it was
after sonia sotomayor had been appointed to the court and she talked about when it was just her and sandra day o'connor many of the male lawyers that would appear before the court would confuse them. they would -- they look nothing alike medical ginsburg justice o'connor and vice versa but they said one they got a third woman on the court that stopped. it's a wonderful story. at also, you can appreciate particularly close to sotomayor or taken? >> she and kagan have been friends for decades. kagan used to be the source for many of her clerks when taken was at harvard. so yes, and kagan that is ginsburg with changing the world so that she could rise, which she did. there are stories about sotomayor -- ruth bader ginsburg wrote a letter to stephen wiesenthal, her favorite client, go get the letters, that's the henry james moment.
he said i would answer the question i better check with one of the letters i got from ruth. like, letters? in her letter to stephen wiesenthal, one of the 200 plus letters that i have on my computer, some of which i shared with you in this book, she said she was very glad for her company. so i think she's very glad for her company. and i am very glad for sonia sotomayor to be on backorder i would'vwould have tried to writt her but she retired -- she beat me to it. >> do you want me to sign some books? okay. [applause] >> booktv is on facebook.
like this to get publishing news, schedule updates come behind the scenes pictures and videos, author information at a doctorate with arthur street on live programs. facebook.com/booktv. >> for one he wanted the staff there at the moment. he always wanted at the other end of the line, and i was only there a week or so. i think it was the second we. hired office down the hall, large office because it all these the stupidest programs and have my own bat phone. he called one morning about 8:00 in my secretary, there's a call from lyndon johnson to i was a we had a line call the potus line prodigious rate. didn't win intimately. it rang until it was answered last night and you could never pick it up as a meticulous made you feel like -- and he said, answer the phone, what is