tv Book Discussion on Notorious RBG CSPAN December 12, 2015 7:30pm-8:37pm EST
>> good evening. i have extraordinary privilege of being the president of the phone nominal printer college and tonight along with my colleague the director of rosenhaus i'm pleased to welcome you to this discussion about a publishing sensation of the year or maybe even a decade "notorious rbg." a shout-out to our -- who is here. raise your hand to make sure you are all paying your alumni dues. "notorious rbg" is a book like no other and in the sunday review "the new york times" said it is a -- decided to have a
baby. sub sandwich on sale and next week we just heard it as already reached number seven on the list. [applause] another measure of the book's popularity is that we originally planned to hold this event at roseville house but the response that we need to move it here and then much larger place. we are delighted about the turnout that in a way it's too bad we had to make a move because the ghost of franklin and eleanor roosevelt that so raises the dash of their former new residents would have loved this discussion about the accomplishments of ruth bader ginsburg. would have been especially engrossing for eleanor who the notorious rvg of her time for women's rights and social justice. allen or face so much hostility
that her critics probably would have considered her, notorious two kinds of words for her. justice ginsburg sees the connection. she has a statue of the greatest first lady and supreme court chambers and to respond to an interviewer's questions about women should get -- in a state criminal justice she invoked eleanor roosevelt wise advice. what those words revealed to me is the steely determination to rbg's successful career and a book about her having such a big impact especially on women. you have terminal when she entered harvard law school in 1956 he was one of just nine in a class of 500 and it surely one of the low points in our history being asked of those women why
they thought they were right to take the place is that men have had. the enthusiasm for justice ginsburg takes many imaginative forms. the people are setting her some cream cord dissents music and making them into videos are routinely go viral. her image usually wearing a gold crown shows up everywhere from cartoons to t-shirts to tattoos great speaking of rbg crowns and tattoos fade rosenfeld has arranged for many of you in the audience to get these tattoos tonight but they are only temporary so don't get too excited. all of this excitement but the web site that has now become a book "notorious rbg" the life and times of ruth bader ginsburg
shana knizhnik and irin carmon creators of "notorious rbg" are with us this evening to talk about invading them and the conversation will be one of the great minds of our time jeffrey toobin. i know first-hand that jeff is a great legal mind because we were in the same class and lawsuit -- law school and he was i taking it predictably now one batter to lead this conversation and jeff because he's a lawyer and journalist who has devoted his career to illuminating the world for readers. he is cnn's legal palaces was a staff writer for the new grant has covered the major legal stories of the era including the nominations of war of rpgs colleagues on the supreme court. his book about the secret world and the supreme court was a bestseller as was his most recent book is about the obama white house and the court. we all look or to his next book about patty hearst known as urban guerrilla. the pleasure to have shayna's,
irin and jeff together. welcome jeff toobin to start the evening. [applause] >> hello everyone. how is everybody doing? just get out here. it's late already. my god, come on. there we go. [applause] best-selling authors, drinking champagne backstage as well they should although that's not cause the delay delay. here we go, let's us get started here. >> tell them what started the delay. >> i'm currently working for judge in philadelphia and i have not stopped moving since 5:00 p.m.. got on the train, got off the train got on the train and i'm here. >> like rbg she is deeply committed to the law. [applause] >> deeply committed. ruth bader ginsburg is 82 years old and she's been on the
supreme court for 22 years but why now? 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. i think that she is someone who has been doing the work of social justice for her entire life. >> there is a home on the microphone for our sound folks. >> so i started the blog "notorious rbg" in the summer of 2013. it was in response to a number of dissenting opinions that justice ginsburg wrote in cases dealing with employment discrimination, affirmative action and one in particular dealing with the voting rights act the case called shelby county beholder. i decided what better way to honor this amazing woman whose voice was sort of the light amidst all the anger what the majority opinions were doing that week. what better way to honor her on the internet than by juxtaposing
her with this larger than life hip-hop icon and i think people are drawn to her because she is someone that you would expect to be that larger-than-life figure. >> i'm not totally sure, i mean all of that is true but it was all true 10 years ago too. i'm not sure i'm totally persuaded yet. >> there needed to be, old gatekeepers needs to be swept away. there needed to be in ability. >> people like me. >> now i really think if you give young women the own ability to choose their own heroes you'd be surprised what you see. i think people like the counterintuitive mess of it and they can see something in her, they can see authenticity, strength, fierceness, commitment
to liberal values. i mean frustration is the tool for the internet. hearing her dissent she would obviously prefer to be in the majority. she would prefer to be writing an opinion that would shape the course of law for the entire country but given that more often than not in these important cases that shauna -- shana mention she was dissenting. it's perfect for the social media age where people go to events there frustration feeling marginalized and they could rally behind the fact that on the highest court of the land here is this woman and she's representing. >> okay so we started at the end. now let's go to the beginning. who is she? who is ruth bader ginsburg? talk about her background. >> she grew up in brooklyn. who was born in 1933. she grew up in a jewish neighborhood at a time when other kids who weren't jewish were afraid of jewish kids coming to their homes for fear
or vice versa they were afraid to go to jewish people's homes because they were afraid they were going to put blood in their food. her experiences her worldview. she saw the red scare happening around her so that gave her a real commitment to civil liberties. of course she experienced sexism throughout her entire life pretty was something she didn't even question. growing up, i was born in 1988 and imagining what she went through was absolutely astonishing for people my age and especially people younger and to her and the people of her generation of busby than something you question. >> she lost her mother at a young age so even in the context of a world that was different
and more difficult, she had a particularly rough. >> i think she saw the story of her mother is a kind of tragedy and a wasted opportunity. >> explain a little more. >> she referred to as her mother is the most intelligent person that i ever knew. her mother had cervical cancer. when her mother married her father she gave up any work she did outside the home and became this in-house bookkeeper. by the time ruth was 14 her mother had cancer. she didn't tell anybody at school. she didn't want anybody to feel sorry for her and she would go into her homework by her mother's bed. her mother eyes wanted to make sure she had her report cards. she got the report cards. the day before her high school graduation where ruth was scheduled to speak as part of the honor circle this is one my favorite details, she was the treasurer of the go-getters. there are a couple of people out there that have changed their
twitter bios to treasure of the go-getters. the day the forward was going to speak as one of the distinguished people in her class her mother died and it's something that shaped her entire life trying to do what her mother was not able to do, trying to make sure that other people were able to use their potential and the way her mother hadn't been able to do. in fact years later when she stood in front of the country nominated by bill clinton she invoked her mother and she said she wished her mother had lived to see a day where we value our daughters as much as we do our sons. >> so she goes to cornell and she meets my husband mahdi as she says and this is an extraordinary partnership that continues until his death. talk a little bit about their relationship. it's a pretty extraordinary
thing. >> i think extraordinary is the right thing. it was entirely ahead of its time. marty ginsburg was a role model to men of his generation because feminism was happening. women's liberation was happening on the streets in the world was changing and marty ginsburg for some reason was ahead of the game. they were so equal in their partnership not just when it came to taking care of the children, he was the primary cook for the family and ruth bader ginsburg has an cooked anything since 1980 is our understanding. also i came to their careers. marty ginsburg was a prominent tax attorney. he also graduated from harvard law school of though he was quick to point out his wife made law review and he didn't. he became a prominent tax attorney and was well-known in his field so they both had to give and take when it came to their careers. ruth actually left harvard law
school for her third year and that's why she transferred to columbia because marty got a job in downtown new york create. >> again in keeping with the theme of adversity while he is in law school, he gets cancer. >> is right and she actually typed up his notes. she would type up his papers for them all while doing her work and taking care of jane who was just a toddler at the time. >> their daughter? >> their daughter. she moved to new york because of him and didn't want to separate the family and harvard wouldn't let her paint a harvard degree. ..
so she moved to new york and started her career. what is said question? >> it's so fascinating u.s. this question of who is ruth bader ginsburg? the early part of her life she experienced adversity, she was a woman, a mother, and a jew. there were three strikes against her. yet early in her life she did
not really question anything. it was not until the late 60s when she was trying to become a civil procedure professor at a law school, it took her students questioning, these baby boomers showing up in same it is not okay the way women are treated here. i think that's interesting because the victorious phenomenon we're talking about is intergenerational phenomenon. i like to think about the fact that mrs. ginsburg herself became a feminist because of the younger generation. >> there is this. in her her life which is quite interesting between law school and when she starts litigating. it is not short. of time. it's a decade, more than a decade decade where she doesn't do anything particularly political. she writes a book, it sounds like you're making this up about swedish silver procedure.
as much as i have research supreme court, i i assure you i've never read her book. >> my favorite is that it was called the best english language book on swedish -- [laughter] >> she like to say that if she hadn't had these doors slammed in her face when she graduated from law school she couldn't get a job at any law firm even though she was top of her class at columbia and harvard. should like to say if that had not happened to her she probably would've gone to a law firm and became a partner. but because of door slamming in her face, she got offered this position to write a civil person procedure book in sweden. so she went there and saw what was happening in that country and the issues of feminism were
happening there. there is a debate going on on why women had to have two jobs the men only had to have one. i think that also affected her world view in a very serious way. she did not want the law firm jobs when she came back so she took a teaching position. >> eventually she becomes the first tenure woman professor at columbia. >> just one more thing about sweden, imagine their people in this room who said to themselves why can't we be more like sweden? because they have one year long maternity leave, they have amazing insurance. so had she not gone to sweden though world will look very different. it it gave her particular view of feminism. you mention why should men and women have, women have two jobs and men have one. that is happening was happening in sweden when she first got there.
>> so she does eventually get involved in the women's movement. how? >> primarily through her students. it was the students who came to her and asked for a woman. there really were not any courses like that at that time. she actually had to write and she cowrote the first casebook on women in the law. that was something her students were looking for. at the same time she was teaching she was doing something with aclu. >> so that's how she became famous. of the nine justices on the supreme court, the only one who would have any major place in american history, even have they never served on the supreme court with ruth bader ginsburg. >> i love the story that she shows up at the aclu of new jersey because she wants to get litigation experience. she never had any. she was teaching at record. they said there a pilot letters
over there for you, they are all from women. we don't know what to do with them. the letters are from women teachers who had been fired from their jobs because they are pregnant. they are from military service women also fired from their jobs because they were pregnant. a postal service worker who is not allowed to wear the same hat even though the woman's hat does not cover her head. all kinds of ways in which the public system and government or the states were completely allowing men and women differently. by the time she got to rutgers in the 60 shoes being discriminated against for being a woman. she was told we couldn't possibly pay u.s. much as a male professor because that your has a really good job. she became pregnant by surprise,
ten years earlier when she first got pregnant she was demoted and forced out of her job when she got pregnant. this time she is not good let the same thing happen again. she goes to her mother-in-law, who wears a size bigger than her. gets baggy clothes and hides her pregnancy. she is so lucky because her son is born on september eighth, three weeks before the fall semester starts. she did not have tenure. she knew what it was like to be in a precarious position, to become pregnant and suddenly there she is a few years later sitting at the aclu of new jersey. these women are experiencing the same thing she experienced. i think that's a moment when she realizes this is not just something i had to deal with, this is systemic. the only way to fix this in a way is to send strongly worded letters. you can file a single lawsuit but i think that's the moment
she realized that if you do not have a broader constitutional understand the, that you cannot treat men and women as if they belong in separate spears and one was inferior. men were out in the world as political, economic actors, women were at home and it was a pedestal but she said the pedestal was actually a cage. that's when she began her campaign. >> the genius in sight of her litigation career, at least as i have always understood it is that the leading women's right advocate in the history of american law picks men for clients. why? >> was she likes to say there is a story that we tell at a dinner party, someone introduces her and said this is ruth bader ginsburg and she works at the house of women's liberation. she said actually's women and
men's liberation. that's indicative of her view of feminism. it's not just about women achieving these roles in public society, which is very important but in order to dismantle the gender stereotype you needed to show that men also could do the things that we might consider fadiman and. >> so give some examples. how did that work? >> so she represented male clients who were trying to be the primary caregivers of their children. get some sort of benefits from tax system or social security. or primary caregiver for elderly parents. >> the weidenfeld story is pretty amazing, tell the story of the weidenfeld case. i know it's a huge favor to her and it's a really unbelievable story. >> it's interesting because she cofounded the aclu women's right project.
because she brought so many menace clients people and say to her, it's not the men's rights project, it's the woman's right project. but even weidenfeld represented everything she wanted to do. he had fallen in love with a woman, he was she was a teacher and he was in school. when she became pregnant they decided he would be the primary caregiver while she made the money. he figured out what would happen next. then she died in childbirth. >> i told you, see. >> he was left a would work. that is when he learned that the child care benefits was only available to widows. so this was a case that ruth bader ginsburg brought the very beginning. it started when he wrote a letter to an editor which was reproduced in the book and fall. he says, i wonder and so ruth
bader ginsburg finds out about it. she brings the case and says this violates his right to equal protection. she also made a multipronged argument. she said it violated his rights to be the caregiver to the child, it degraded his wife's wage earning. it was same because she was a woman and a dead woman not a dead dead man that her work counted for less. also on behalf of the child, the child was being punished. that turned out to be the argument that convinced justice rehnquist. it's interesting, because sometimes people say she brought all these cases for men because she was arguing in front of nine men. she had had to convince them. what's interesting is if you look at the notes and the
argument of that case, the justices cannot figure out why man would want to do this. they literally wanted to dismiss the case but there's no standing. they did not believe him, that he wanted to be the primary caregiver for his son after his wife died. so it wasn't just her choosing something convenient, she was challenging them. this was a woman who in her first oral argument before the supreme court in 1973 stood in front of the justices and said, i asked asked for no special favor for my. this was a quote, i asked for no special favor for my, i only out that the take their feet up next. as much as she was the move toward. she was bold, she was challenging them. she. she was doing it slowly and deliberately and very rationally. she was pushing them beyond
where shoot they were prepared to go at the beginning of the 70. >> there's also just a genius to, once you start to say that the law can't keep treating men and women differently, it's unconstitutional, it all faults apart. to use discrimination against men as a vehicle is another case. about the access to beer in oklahoma. >> she wasn't on the primary counsel but she helped a lot. >> tell it the case was. >> so i believe us from oklahoma and there's a long oklahoma that basically said that there is something called near beer, which which was low alcohol content. women, the age women could purchase the beer was 16 but for
men it was 18. so the men brought this challenge to the law. so she was sort of embarrassed by that case but again it was an example of the law treating men and women differently. >> all it takes is one case where the justices say the facts of this are so obvious we can't possibly justify. and then he set a precedent. further down the road cases that involve things more weighty than your beer also has to follow. >> the thing that cannot sell the cases as they are based on the idea of stereotyping. the near beer case while it's funny, it's the idea that women were out and dating earlier and again it's women on a pedestal and it's actually a cage. all of these cases involve this idea of what men are like and what women are like. >> so these cases are all going to the courts in the 70s. so does that roe v wade. which
is still the most famous women's right case in american history. 1973 in the supreme court. she is not involved in that case and in fact, has a take on roe v wade that has been controversial then and still now. what is a question work. >> it's interesting, the same term that the supreme court did roe v wade, ginsburg had a case of her own. was the case of a student who became pregnant while on active duty. the funny thing is that even though abortion was illegal throughout the united states, you could get an abortion on a military base. not only could you get them portion on a military base is basically required that if you got pregnant wanted to keep your job. so susan struct what that pregnant wanted to give her child out for adoption. she has disability leave she can take the time off to recover from the
childbirth and i'll be back. they said you have two choices, and you can have an abortion or you can leave. said justice ginsburg looks at the case and she is somebody who unconditionally believes that reproductive freedom, including access to abortion is fundamental to a woman's equality. she looks at this case and in the same way she was representing men to try to liberate women under the law, she says great, this is a case where a a woman does not want to have an abortion so we are going to trick them into laying the groundwork for full reproductive freedom including the right to have an abortion and not have an abortion. she she was hoping and there's a word i'm trying not to say on stage to try it that her discrimination cases and pregnancy cases that fall under the same family. >> you said roe v wade was a woman's right case. >> not that way. she always points out that she
was concerned with the doctors rights of practicing medicine. so it happens, these two cases are traveling at the same time. the president told the story about how ginsburg's first week at harvard law school they summoned the women and asked them to justify their place at harvard law school. how can you justify taking the place of a man? that same became the general of the united states and was her opponent in that case of susan struct, the woman woman who did not want to have an abortion. so he pops up again and again in the book to mess up her life. he convinced military to change the policy. so the case of susan struct was accepted by the supreme court but it was never
heard. >> of the guy break, that's not a bad thing. they change the policy. >> because -- >> but it's not so bad. >> she wanted susan struct have the right to keep her pregnancy she wanted to. the plan did not evolve what happened to wesley was that roe v wade struck down all bands on abortion in the country all at once. she is someone who likes to go slow. she did not like that it happened all at once. she thought there's a lot of respect to people who disagree with her. she believed that created the antiabortion by giving them a single target. she hated the way the decision was made. it was all about a doctors right to practice his medicine and she
said and it's the little woman standing off to the side. what she wanted was much more radical. she wanted a woman to be recognized as an adult who can make her own decisions whether that is to bear a child or not. >> these misgivings about roe v wade almost cost her her appointment to the supreme court because support for roe v wade is considered fundamental if you are a democratic party. she served on the circuit jimmy carter appoints her late in the presidency, in those days judges appointed late in the presidency actually got confirmed sometimes. >> judges appointed and got confirmed. >> so she is on the d.c. circuit from 1980 until 1993. she is no great liberal on that court. why not question work.
>> she was known as a judges judge. that that speaks to another part of her personality she has this reference for the law, for this institution is a part of. part of it also was the fact that the circuit heard a lot of pretty boring cases about agency law. the other part is she is an incremental list and a lots of ways. one of the suggestion she made on the d.c. circuit was that all of the judges rights to opinion with no name on them. is very different from where it is today. >> and they do not go for it by the way. >> when president clinton was considering her for the high court one of the things he said was women are against her. that is so strange to think about considering. >> but he wasn't wrong. there were a lot of women and
women involved in the feminist movement who had real misgivings about roe versus wade. >> i think it is actually a testament to who she is. once she is a stubborn person for sure. but also, she is the principal person. even though the critique that the feminist allies who she depart of the movement with gives fuel to the other side, every week saying something like even ruth bader ginsburg hates roe v wade, obviously she agreed with the outcome even if she did not agree with the way it got there. i think there was a fear that, okay finally we have a democratic president, we have an opportunity to get a liberal on the court. so they wanted it to be the right person, that's when marty ginsburg started a letter writing campaign of every feminist. he got every possible feminist
to write a letter. then when it was time for them to go before the committee of the senate judiciary committee asked, can i say see all of the letters written on behalf of her, the clinton administration was like who told them to send all these letters that she was a feminist. no one is is ever going to see these. because now because at that point it was a general election campaign and not primary. >> so she joins the court 1993, william rehnquist's chief justice. she has been basically in the minority through most, not all of the big cases in her tenure, whether this bush regard 2000, or -- there is certainly been some wins but united states versus virginia is perhaps her best-known case that she wrote
herself. what is that? >> that case is one of her favorites because it actually gives the chance to cite her own cases that she brought before the supreme court. it was the culmination of the work she had done. that case involved the virginia military institute, which was at that time a male only military public institution. the case was brought by the united states, which she was also proud of the fact that the government had to come around. on behalf of women who had to attend a virginia military institute. she wrote this opinion citing all of these cases that she had done the oral argument for an written all the briefs for. that solidified the fact that men and women cannot be treated unequally under the law. >> what else. the vmi case is a very personal landmark for her, what else
would you say she is proud of the case issues been developed to? >> that is something that began as a dissent of course, this is the case of the woman who worked her entire career for decades at a goodyear tire plant. one day she found a note in her locker and it said, this is how much all of the men who started with you has been pain and this is what your paid. that's when she learned that she had been underpaid. she was sexually sexually harassed for years, treated like garbage, and a very physically challenging job. this is the point it she decided it was time to go to to court. title title vii of the civil rights act which protects workers of protected classes from being discriminated against. it has limitations. she was told by a majority of the supreme court that she waited too long.
even though she had not even known that she had been discriminated against. it came down to a technicality. did the discrimination start every time she got a paycheck that was lower than the other employees that happen to be men? or did it start when she could have asked for a race way back when and had no idea what other people were making. so, by this point there is justice on the supreme court who is frequently her adversary on the case and he wrote the majority opinion, that said you took too long to sue. >> and again not to get too technical, this is not a case about about the constitution. this is a case about what the words of the title vii law means. so this was something within congress ability to change the law. >> that's when justice ginsburg wrote a very deliberately worded
-- is actually not one of her most passionate. i think the abortion case in 2007 or shall be -- those are ones that she really did inspire her. in this one she had a very deliberate plan. sheep said place sickly she thinks that lily waited too long to sue and congress could step up. she very specifically said the ball is in congress court. they talk about how much the better its institutions, she wanted the different branches of government to work together. she had to wait because it was 2007, bush was president. the following year, barack obama was elected president. the first, and someone very dear to her heart, the first law that
he signed, the first bill he side each you all was the lily beer pay act. which is to say every paycheck that you get that reflects discrimination starts the clock. she said to me when i interviewed her in february, that was an example of congress listening to the court. congress could function and do something. she said to me maybe someday we'll have a congress that works again. obviously we do not right now. >> justice ginsburg is 82 years old. she has had many diseases but she as as tough as any nfl live on tran linebacker as far as i can tell. shouldn't she have quit and let barack obama pick her placement? wasn't wasn't it a selfish thing
to do to jeopardize that president cruz. [laughter] >> i think she is a fighter. she's been through so much, she has she has had cancer twice. i visited her chamber and she had a heart procedure done about a week before i got there. i was not sure i would be able to go. when i asked her then what i could tell her followers on my tumbler, she said tell them that i will be back doing push-ups next week. so i think that speaks to her tenacity. she is not one to quit. when it comes to her position, i think she has a lot of fight in her both physically and in terms of the work she has dedicated her work too. she received a lot of criticism for her choice not to step down.
she has life tenure. perfectly within her right to make that choice. she said at the time was who is going to be appointed in this political climate that would stand up for these issues that i'm standing up for. >> that is such a load of nonsense. look, i love love ruth bader ginsburg to but the idea that a well they cannot confirm someone just like me so i'm going to stay here until i die. does that make any sense? >> let's be fair though, john paul stevens was a decade older and he was fired. he did not have cancer but i think he is still playing tennis. >> he still is at 95. >> she still doing 20 push-ups at age 82. mentally she is sound as she
ever has been. it is a decision decision that is too late to reverse. i think we should see this in the contacts, retiring retiring during a democratic administration is a political does discussion. she is stubborn and believes what is doing right. she is committed to her job. i think she's unable to imagine a life outside of her job. what was to do? she she do? she already goes to the theater almost every night. she already travels all over the world. she is passionately committed to the work of the court. i think she's still bringing with it the same passion she has already done. >> one more thing, i think it's interesting that the internet sensation and the passion on the internet that shauna tumbler tapped into an that you can't tell truth without -- and hear the thrill and ruth bader
ginsburg art, hollowing costumes, tattoos, tattoos, which she does not like she told me. i think that all happened when people are telling her is time to go. it was not coordinated but i think that young woman saw an old woman being pushed off the stage. an old woman be told we don't need you anymore. i'm not said there were not good reasons to make sure that for 40 years they'll be a liberal justice in that seat. i do not think it is a coincidence. i think the fact that our society is now better rating a woman who is 82 years old is incredible. and you should stop and reflect of how older women are so visible in our society and so used to being told it's time for you to move on because it someone else's term. >> okay. [applause].
before we go to questions, i do not want to end and talk too much -- there's an extraordinary document in your book which i have marked that marty was dying of cancer and john hopkins hospital. ruth found this letter that he did not even give to her. she just found in the door. what you read it. >> i might cry. why want to tell the story of this letter first which is that we first read it. >> thank you. i got that first i was very pleased. >> justice ginsburg believed in giving credit so do we. that's why this is the only book that has many pages of endnotes.
the thing is we wanted this format we wanted the original. i also wanted to -- where trying hard to get the original and we made several requests and nothing really happened. then literally two days before the book went to press we are given a final draft her son to look over for factual errors relating to the family and he said, you know think the book is great but i don't understand why you put my dads letter and that weird font? why don't you have the original. and i was like like well i would love the original. funny you should say. then we got a letter from justice ginsburg, an e-mail and it said, dear shauna, my son thought you should have this. i hope you can use it.
it felt like such a gift from her. she had been so generous about the entire project even though it is not an authorized biography. it was like an intimate present from her. it was actually the day before the book went to press. if it would've came the day after it would've been too late. >> the letter is written a day or two before he dies. okay. >> this is june 17, 2010. my dearest ruth, you are the only person i have loved in my life. setting aside parents, kids, and their kids, i have admired and loved you almost sense the day we first met at cornell some 56 years ago. here i have to note that when i got the original i have to note that she corrected him in the margins. [laughter] she wrote, nearly 60.
that woman is very precise. what a treat it has been to watch you progress at the very top of the legal world. i will be at jh medical center and told friday june 20 fifth, fifth, i believe. between now and then i shall look hard on my remaining life and the time has come for me to tough it out, to take a leave of life. the loss of quality simply overwhelms. i hope you will support where i come out but i understand you may not. i will love you not a drop less. marty. >> wow, wow!. okay. okay questions. >> i just say one more thing. we have talked a lot about this about how to say the person is political. it trays how the people in her
life looks at how shauna described an extraordinary marriage how they could both flourish. they can both see themselves fully free from gender stereotypes. gave her essential optimism about the world. i. i think it made her optimistic about the male. and the capacity to improve. [laughter] >> the trying and hope over experience. >> their microphones, the lights are such that i cannot see but now the lights are coming -- who has a? please ask a question, do not give a speech.
>> what i'm curious about is her opinion on roe v wade is in contrast with the recent decision of gay marriage that kennedy wrote that she joined the majority in. in many ways it is very similar in that it imposes a national standard on the country just as roe v wade has and she criticize roby way for doing that. i was was wondering if there has been anything from her as to why she sees that differently than roe v wade? >> i think part of it is she has always looked at social movements and culture to change before the law does. she thought there is still a lot of work to do in changing culture for the movement. but by the time of the first
decision came down it was the defense of marriage act, the country has changed is what she had said. people had gotten to know gay people and lesbians, it was no longer a foreign concept. the law had to catch up. >> i think another part of that is another thing she learned from marty and her experience in that marriages knowledge that marriage could be a look legal terry and she interrupted the oral argument to say you keep talking about traditional marriage, and traditional marriage had a very hierarchal structure with a man on top and woman on the bottom. as she experienced in her marriage that traditional marriage does not exist anymore. i think that experience and her work on the gender equality as well was a big part of her
decision. to shatter gender stereotypes about marriage it self. >> but she was skeptical about whether the court should impose gay marriage on the whole country right away. and very much reflecting roe v wade. you could tell personally she thought gay people should have the right to get married. she was worried about the court getting too far ahead. i think in 2015 has 15 has turned out to be a very different place then 2010 was on this issue. >> keep in mind, they sent back. at the time they have the choice to validate it. >> okay let's continue with more questions. >> high, this is been a great panel discussion. my question is about the
ginsburg friendship. i know lawyers and i understand legal issues and personal issues can be aside. but also understand the closeness of a friendship who gets most of their information from fox news. laughmac. >> they go way back. they were friends since before either of them were judges at all. justice ginsburg like to tell the story of when she first saw justice glia be she disagreed with every point he was bacon. but she thought he was hilarious. i think that is what it comes down to. i think there is a connection between marty ginsburg and justice glia who were both very there are very gregarious character in a clever person.
i interviewed justice ginsburg's grandson for for the book and he told the story of how they would always spend new year's together with all the scalia kids. >> i think actually there is some combination of his 11 kids. i asked him if the two of them ever talk about politics and she said no, what would there be to talk about? >> i had an opportunity to go to the premier the smart with scalia at the opera. which react search at the book. justice ginsburg love this opera. she had an obsession with people being friends despite their political differences. anyone who spent all of the year she spent on the d.c. circuit, i think they understand that you do not get very far in that world if you just verbally or
physically punch someone in the base for disagreeing with you. it is survival mode. you need at least one other judge to go with you and i think she did not get to where she was being almost the only woman by being disagreeable. >> the funny thing is she came to the premier of scilly and getting berg and she thought it was delightful. he is introduced to the audience and the guy was wearing these big eyebrows, it was very funny. i did see when he was interviewed and asked about it he said there is a first amendment. [laughter] >> thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. i was was hoping you, on the phone that the court is so secretive and private and you have made careers by exposing the court to the media. what you think the role of the
media is going to be going forward? >> the same. look, justice stevens always like to say people call secretive. we're the only part of the government that writes down the reasons for everything that we do. [laughter] i think that is clever but it is also nonsense. in terms of the baby steps that are conceivable, obviously an issue that hangs out is cameras in the court and television. i writing the book now, when they are in their confirmation hearing they said we think
cameras in the courtroom are a good idea, now having been captured by the other seven that said nido on cameras want cameras in the courtroom. they're very concerned about the reputation of the court. they do not not want to do anything to damage it. that is something i read backed in the abstract. whether it is likely or at least plausible in the next five years is that they will start streaming the audio of the arguments live on the internet. i think that would be a very good thing. they release the arguments audio at the end of the week, which for journalistic purposes is sort of useless, as they know. so i think they will take certain baby steps. but their view is if it is not broke, don't fix it. they are not interested in fixing it. >> i say my experience as a
report of msnbc as such covering the sports it hurts the coverage the way things are right now. they basically strip searching for electronic devices when you go in. then the seats or the press with that you can even see the justices. you're frantically writing everything down in longhand. when it's over you go outside and tried to be the first person to tweet accurately about what happened. that does not lend itself to good journalism. there are people out in the world who cannot sit in the courtroom. so i think life streaming audio would fix that. >> i'd don't agree about cameras in the courtroom. i think they should do it tomorrow. you can see if you put cameras in there, you have to change the lighting, it would be different. audio would change nothing.
>> i'm with you with audio. >> we will see. next question. maybe that should be the last question i think of getting the signal. >> i would like to ask a scalia question. talk about ideology, we all have ideological differences and we can get along but he is so condescending to women. >> can we take a question from a women? [laughter] it's interesting because justice glia justices would never do i think the condescension is part of that. when the said justice kennedy was a bad writer and an idiot, i
don't think the supreme court justice has egos i don't think it's gonna favorably expose kennedy in the future. i don't know if anyone won't change change their vote based on people's behavior. i i think justice ginsburg hopes that some people are persuadable. >> i just have one question. >> we go to the microphone so people can hear you? >> can i have some sense of how justices determine what cases to take each year? >> and what role does ruth bader ginsburg play in taking cases.
>> i don't know if i'm qualified to take that question but they get way too many cases for them to possibly take all of them. it's really trying to figure out what are the most important ones are. some of the cases, most of the cases are not exciting. one of the major reasons is because there's call the circuit split, the lower courts have decided the same issue in different ways. so the supreme court needs to decide. >> in the next couple of weeks we will hear about some very important cases that we are speaking of and we should all be paying attention to. in part together one is a sequel to hobby lobby. that's another case about
women's access to contraception and religious right. possibly even more critical and very key to the issues are cases that come from taxes in mississippi and trying to close down its abortion clinic. texas trying to shut down 75% of their abortion clinics. the question will be, will they take the case, and if they do to get a decision a few months. the presidential election. it is going to be question of does it violate a woman's constitutional right to shut down abortion clinics if you say they're there to protect her. we don't know what role she will have in selecting these cases. we learned that she was a special collar, next june there
will be no camera in the court. anyone sitting in the room will not, any liberal will not want to see that dissenting -- >> i need to make one point before we go. christmas is coming. hanukkah is coming. the book is for sale after this program, it makes an excellent gift for any holiday in which you choose to celebrate. i hope you understand they will go sign the copy for you. i hope you'll join me in thanking the. [applause].
book tv is on twitter. follow us to get publishing news, schedule updates, other information and to talk directly with authors during the life program. twitter.com/book tv. >> now joining us on book tv is the author of a book called son of virginia. governor doug, doug, the year 1989, what happened to you. >> guest: my life has changed considerably, the people of virginia decided they would change perceptions of virginia and