tv Book Discussion on Notorious RBG CSPAN December 24, 2015 1:11am-2:16am EST
[inaudible conversations] good evening. it is up privileged to be here of this phenomenal college. so pleased to welcome you to this discussion notorious rpg. the shout out for raise your hands and make sure you are all paying your alumni dues. a book like no other. the new york times said the scrapbook in the tome the decided to have a baby. went on sale just last week. just heard it is already reached number seven.
the responses so great when needed to move it here. we are delighted by the turnout. and the way it is too bad. still graced the rooms of the former new york residents when i love the discussion about the life, times, and accomplishment. it would have been especially engrossing notorious rpg. the tireless defender of women's rights convention. faced so much hostility that her critics probably would have considered it notorious. she has a statute of the nation's greatest 1st lady and the supreme court chambers and a response to
interviews and questions about whether women chicken angry. she invoked eleanor roosevelt, anger, resentment, envy, emotions that zap your energy, not productive and don't get you any place, so get over it. what those words revealed to me is a steely determination that is key to a successful career in the law and the reason the book about her as having such a big impact, especially on women. when she entered law school one of just nine women in a classified hundred. surely one of the low points will be asked why they thought they were right. many wonders and imaginative forms.
best selling of others drinking champagne backstage that is not what caused the delay. >> i am kirke for a judge in philadelphia and i have not stopped moving since 5:00 p.m. now i am here. >> she is deeply committed. >> 82 years old the supreme court which interiors the white now? what is going on that she has become this cult figure now? >> women are drawn to her. someone that was doing the work her entire life.
>> so i started the blob pretoria's rbd in response to the opinions that justice ginsberg wrote with employment discrimination and affirmative action in dealing with the voting rights act and i decided what better way to launder this notorious woman with a better way to honor of the internet with this larger than life hip-hop icon because she would not expect to be that larger than life figure. >> host: all of that is true but it was true ted years ago.
i need some more. >> 88 you were looking for social media. it is that ability. i really thank you give young women the ability to choose their own heroes you are surprised. they like that counter intuitive ms. and they can see authenticity and frustration is the tool of the internet. at the time she would prefer to be given the majority that would shape the court. more often than not she was
dissenting. and then to rally round and here is this woman. >> so we started at the end now go to the beginning. who is she? who is ruth bader ginsburg? talk about her background. >> she grew up in brooklyn born 1933. at the time when others that they were afraid of going to jewish people's homes. but that experience and others and with the red
scare happening around them. and then i was born in 1988 and what she went through and those that doesn't know something the question. >> but she saw the story of her mother to waste the opportunity. she referred to her brother is the most intelligent person i had ever knew. when her mother carried her
father by the time she was 14 her mother had cancer she didn't tell anybody at school. but she would do her homework by her mother's bed. to make sure she had great report cards. and to be as part of the odder circle. a couple people out there have changed their biography to treasurer of the go getter. the days before she made a speech as with the most distinguished people in her class, her mother died. this something that shapes her entire life to do what her mother was not able, to make sure other people can
use that potential and then nominated where they value our daughters. >> so she goes to court now. -- cornell and it is an extraordinary partnership that continues. talk about their relationship. >> bad is the right word. end he was a role model to the end of his generation because of it is some and women's liberation was happening in the streets. and he was ahead of the game.
so equal in their partnership to taking care of the children. and when it came to their careers. and the wife mail log review and he did not but he was a prominent tax attorney perry will go. although leaving harvard law school. but again in keeping with that theme then he gets cancer. >> and schaede netted the
toddler at the time. and she moved to new york and harvard would not let her get the degree as a result. they would not let her year at columbia but she did okay >> it worked out okay. [laughter] of the harvard has regretted a great deal. >> battle think she would never let them forget it. they would even protest the fact they have a column she was on the d.c. circuit to say she spent two years there it was the discretionary policy.
students question been to say it is not okay. that is the enter generational phenomenon. that is the emergence of rations. >> that between law school and when she starts litigating human-rights it is more than a decade where she doesn't do anything political. she writes a book. >> as much as i have researched the supreme court >> and he likes to say in
that point and when she graduated from law school. to say if that had a happier and she probably would not go to the law firm then becoming all law partner but because of that door closed interfaces and offered the position and saba was happening there earlier they had in this country. and in particular there was a debate going on why women have two jobs that also affected her world view any serious way she did want those law firm jobs in the more.
>> and eventually is the first tenured professor. >> i imagine there are people in this room because they have long paternity leave. with social insurance had justice ginsberg not gone to sweden the world book very different. with the russian men and women and that was the conversation that was happening. >> primarily through her students. the students to cave in to her and there really weren't
any courses like that at that time. and that is what her students were looking for taking cases of the aclu. >> of those nine justices the only one who has a major place in history and how does that get started? >> that is because she wants to get litigation experience teaching at rutgers and there are a pile of letters over there for you they're all from women. they are from women who are teachers that were fired from their job.
military service women fired because they were pregnant. a worker who was not allowed to wear the same hat as men. the states were completely allowing men and women differently. by the time she got to wreckers she was being -- rutgers she was told they could not possibly pay you as much as a male professor because your husband has a good job. that she was pregnant by surprised ted years earlier she was demoted been forced out. she would not let it happen again so she goes to her mother-in-law who wears a size bigger and wears a
baggy clothes and hides the pregnancy the son is born three weeks before the semester starts. she knew she was in a precarious position and suddenly there she is sitting at the aclu and they are experiencing the same thing. riding that is the moment she realizes "this is it" just something i had to deal with it is systemic. the only way to fix it shipment is -- sent many strongly worded letters that that is where she realized it you don't have a broader constitutional understanding you cannot treat men and women separate one of those political and economic factors.
but she says that pedestal is a cage. >> and the genius in sight of her of litigation career as i have always understood it is the leading women's rights advocate takes men for clients. >> there is a story that they tell to say this is ruth bader ginsburg she works on behalf of women's liberation she actually says women's and men's liberation that is her view of feminism it is not just about women achieving these goals but a society which is important but to dismantle the gender
stereotypes that they could do what we bush did consider to be feminine. >> she represented male clients who were the primary care givers to get some benefit from the tax system. one of her favorite clients when was the man. >> tell that story. it is amazing because they know it is a favorite of hers and it is unbelievable. >> she co-founded the aclu women's rights project people would say it isn't the men's rights project is a women's rights but everything she was trying to do she had fallen in love
with the woman she was a teacher and he was in school so when she became pregnant deciding he would be their primary caregiver and then figure out what happened next but he died -- he died in childbirth. and that is when he learned that child care benefits is only available to widows. so this is the case from the very beginning writing a letter to the editor to say i wonder about gloria steinem. and brings the case to say this violates his equal
they literally wanted to dismiss the case but they couldn't because they did not believe him that he wanted to be their primary caregiver. she was challenging them a woman in her first oral argument before the supreme court stood in front of the justices and said i asked for no special favors for my sex. i only ask they take their feet off of our next. she was to me were the issue was bald and challenging them very rational but was pushing them beyond where they were prepared to go. >> also there is a genius that once you start to say
that it is wrong and unconstitutional to treat the men and women differently, it all starts to fall apart. sochi is discrimination against men as a vehicle i don't think her case is that in oklahoma? >> she was not primary council but she helped a lot >> she called that the thirsty boy's case. there was a law in oklahoma that basically said was -- the low of all content year and the age women could purchase at 16 but then was 18. so the men brought the challenge so she was embarrassed but it was another example.
>> there was one case the justices say it is so brutal the obvious you cannot justify them further down the road it was even more than the year beer. also was stereotyping well is funny it is based on the idea that the women on the pedestal and all of these is a balding of the idea what men and women are like. >> they all percolate through the courts in the '70s so does roe v. wade which is still the most famous women's rights case in american history. 1973 and the supreme court she was not involved and has a take that has been
controversial then and now. >> it is interesting. this rate my ashley same term that heard roe v. wade she had a case of her own and air force nurse even though abortion was illegal you could get it on the military base not only that they were required if you were pregnant and wanted to keep your job. so she wanted to give the child up for adoption i can take some sick time off to recover and i will be back. they said have been abortion or you can leave. so justice ginsburg says she unconditionally believe
reproductive freedom is fundamental to lobeline equality so in the same way she was representing men she says a great this is a case where a woman doesn't want to and we will track them basically to lay the groundwork for reproductive freedom for the right to have one or not to have one there is word that i am trying to never say on the stage but to make it for the sex discrimination and pregnancy fall under the same family. but that is not the way it was written. it was very concerned. so there traveling at the
same time. the story was told they would summon the women and ask them to justify their place at harvard law school. that was the solicitor general of the united states and was her opponent in the case. so he is like the villain of the book i am sure he is say very nice man but has tried again and again to mess with her life. and tried to convince to change policy. but it was never heard at the supreme court because just a few months later. >> give the guy a break. >> a change of policy but
come on. [laughter] >> but she wanted her to have the right to have the pregnancy if she wanted to. but the plan did not involve that roe v wade struck down all abortions in the country all the once she likes to go slow she is deliberate she did not like all at once and she believed it was very controversial that that created the antiabortion movement to give them a single target is she said the way it was written it is all about the way to practice of medicine and it is the little bowman standing off to decide. but she wanted a woman to be recognized as an adult to make her own decisions to bear a child or not.
>> and these misgivings almost cost her the appointment to the supreme court because support for roe v. wade is considered fundamental if you ra prospective democratic appointee she had served under the democratic administration and jimmy carter appointed her very late. so she is on the d.c. circuit 80 through 1993 and she is no great liberal on that court. why not? >> she was known as the judge's judge. that the reverence for the lot and the institution she was a part of. also the circuit heard a lot
of boring cases on agency law but the other part is she is an incremental west one suggestion she made on the circuit is all judges write opinions with no name on them which is very different from what bc today but. >> they did not go for that by the way. >> but president clinton was considering her for the high court he said the women are against her. that is so strange to think about considering. >> there were a lot of women that were involved in the feminist movement who had misgivings. >> it is a testament to who she is.
she is a southern person but also a principal person to know that her allies felt would give fuel to the riverside to see even ruth bader ginsburg hates roe v wade obviously she agreed with the outcome but there was a five-year that we have a democratic president and an opportunity to get everyone on the court but that isn't they said in the letter writing campaign. but then when it was time to go before the committee the
administration says who told them? because at that point it was a general election campaign. >> will it -- william rehnquist is chief justice she was in the minority whether 2,000 or shelby county there have been some wins but the united states verses' virginia is the best known case that she wrote for the majority. >> that was her favorite because it gave her the chance to cite her own cases she brought before the supreme court. [laughter] it was the culmination of her work at the aclu led the
virginia military institute that was in an institution and the case was brought by the united states that the federal government had come around but on behalf of women to attend the virginian military institute so she wrote this opinion that solidified the fact that men and women could not be treated on an equal under the law. >> that case is a personal landmark for her but what about the cases she has been involved in? >> that began as a dissident
the woman who worked her entire career at the goodyear tire plant she found a note this is what all the men are paid and this is what you are paid. she had been sexually harassed and treated like garbage in this physically challenging job she decided it was time to go to court. the civil-rights act protects workers from being discriminated against had limitations and willie ledbetter was told she waited too long. but she had not even known she was being discriminated against and it was a technicality did that start
every time she got a paycheck or did it start when she could have asked for raises? so by this point there was a justice on this court and justice alito wrote the majority opinion that said you don't. sorry. >> it is not a case about the constitution but what the words of the title mean. is this something within congress's ability to change the law spirit that is when justice ginsburg wrote the defense is not one of her most passionate i think that is the abortion case said in 2007 or the shelby county case those are ones where
she spits fire but she has a very deliberate plan and says basically the supreme court said that ledbetter waited too long but congress can step up the ball was in congress court so to talk about the institutions she wanted the different branches of government to work together because it was 2007 and bush was president the following year barack obama was elected someone very dear to her heart the very first what that he signed into law was the ledbetter fair pay act that fix that interpretation of the lot to say every paycheck the you get resets
the clock and she said when i interviewed her in february that was an example of congress listening to the court and to function to do something. she said maybe someday we will have a congress that works again for a obviously we don't right now. >> justice ginsburg is 82 and has had many diseases budget is as tough as any nfl linebacker. [laughter] shouldn't she have quit to let barack obama packer replacement to think that president cruz can fill that? [laughter]
>> i think she is a fighter. she has been through so much. cancer twice. i visited her chambers and she had no heart procedure done a week before i got there but when i asked what i could tell her followers she said tell them i will be doing pushups next week. [laughter] so that speaks to her tenacity. she is not one to quit. when it comes to her position she has a lot of fight left in her physically and the work she has dedicated her life. she did receive a lot of criticism for for choice not to step down but she has life tenure. it is in her right to make that choice in who would be
appointed in this political climate that would stand up for the issues that i stand up for? >> that is a lot of nonsense. i love ruth bader ginsburg also but the arabia they could not confirm someone just like me so i will stay here until i die? does that make sense? >> be fair. [laughter] john paul stevens was a decade older than her when he retired. i thank you told me he still plays tennis. >> she is doing pushups. the delay she is as sound as she ever was is a high-stakes decision that is too late to reverse. retiring during the democratic administration is
a political decision but she is stubborn and believes in doing what is right and is committed to herself she does have a life outside of her job but would she do? she goes out to dinner every night and travels all over the world passionately committed to the work of the court is still brings that saved fierceness she ever did. is interesting that the internet sensation that she tapped into the u.k. and spell truth without ruth and ruth bader ginsburg and rap videos and halloween costumes tattoos, which she does not like.
that all happened as everybody told her it was time to go. the young women saw an old woman pushed off the stage at we do need you anymore and that was a reason for her to major we read have another liberal justice in that seat but now we are venerating a woman who was 82 years old who can stop and reflect how they're so used to being told it is time to move on to somebody else's turn. [applause] >> okay. before we go to questions i hope this isn't sexist. [laughter] i don't want to end to talk
too much about marty and not ruth but there is an extraordinary document which i have marked he was dying of cancer in john hopkins and ruth found this letter he did not even give to her. read it. >> i might cry. >> and want to tell the story first the first to read it to in a profile. >> i got that first. >> that is why this is the only blot post that has 50 pages of endnotes but there was the scrapbooks we wanted the original.
so we were trying really hard to get the original and made several requests but nothing happened but then literally two days before went to press we were given a final draft to her son and he said the book is great but i don't understand why you put the letter and that why don't you have the original? >> host: above too. then we got a letter from justice ginsburg that said my son thought you should have this. i hope you can use it. it felt like such a gift because she was so generous over the entire project as it was an authorized and he
your that we can use this. >> actually the day before it vacate the day after it would have been too late. >> it was written a day or two before he died. >> june 17th 2010. >> my dearest you were the only person i have loved my life setting aside parents and kids. i have admired and loved you almost since the first day we met. >> i have to note that the original she corrected in the margins. [laughter] she road nearly 50. [laughter] she is very precise. what a treat it has been to watch you progress i will be in a the medical center
officials the card with the balance this time to take a leave of life because the quality simply overwhelms an abuse of pour right amount you may not. will live here not a drop less. >> all my gosh. questions? >> just one more thing. we talked a lot about this and how is such a cliche it is political but we truly tried to show the experiences that informed her politics in jurisprudence and what she describes is how they flourished with the
contrast to the recent decision on gay marriage that anthony kennedy wrote that she joined the majority. in many ways it is similar in that impose the national standard in the country. and i was just wondering if there have been anything from her as to why she sees that differently. >> i think parti think part of it is that she is always looked at social movements and culture to change before the law does. she thought that there was still a lot of work to do the country had changed. people are guns amount the
people and lesbians and it was no longer a foreign concept. the law actually had to catch up. >> another part of that, something she learned from marty in her experience of our marriage, knowledge that marriage could be an egalitarian institution. the most recent gay marriage case, she interrupted the oral litigant. we keep talking about traditional marriage. traditional marriage has a verya very hierarchical structure with the man on top of the woman on the bottom. as she experienced, that doesn't exist anymore. i think that experience and her work on behalf of gender equality as well was a biga big part of her decision to join the majority because when you shattered gender stereotypes about marriage and so does not matter. >> but she was skeptical about whether the court
should impose gay marriage on the whole country right away and very much reflecting, when i, when i did that peace and interviewed her linked 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. 2,015 has turned out to be a very different place than 2010 was on this issue. >> and they sent back. at the time they have the choice to invalidated and didn't. >> more questions. >> this is been aa great panel and discussion. my question is about the segovia ginsburg friendship. legal issues and personal issues.
the two of us ever talk about politics. no comeau what would there be to talk about. >> ii had an opportunity to go to the premier this summer which we excerpt in the book. and ginsburg loves this opera. this obsession with people being friends this by political differences. you don't get very far in that world if you verbally or physically punch someone in the face for disagreeing with you. you need at least one of the judge to go with you. she did not get to where she is in being the only woman
in every context. he introduced the audience. the guy was wearing these big eyebrows. very funny. i did see that when he was interviewed and asked about it he said well, the first amendment. >> next. you have all made careers i was wondering what you think the role of the media because the going forward? >> i want to hear. >> you know, look, justice
it is something respect in the abstract. i think one thing, i don't know if it's likely but i think it's plausible in the next five years is that they will start streaming the audio of the arguments live on the internet area and i think that would be a very good thing. the release the argument at the end of the week which for journalistic purposes is very useless. as they know. so i think they will take certain baby steps. but their view is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. they are not interested in fixing it. >> in my experience in my day job is such that covering the sport it actually really hurts the coverage the way that things are right now because it basically strip search of electronic devices when you go in. then a lot of the seats for the press sit you cannot even see the justices.
so you're frantically writing everything down in longhand. on the big cases you're trying to be the first person outside to tweet accurately about what happened. that does not lend itself to good journalism. there a lot of people out in the world who cannot sit in the courtroom want to engage in what the court destroying. i think i think what you say about live streaming audio would fix that because scalia went be at the cameras. they already are so theatrical. >> look i don't agree about cameras in the courtroom, think they should do it tomorrow but you can see that if they put cameras and there you have the change the lighting, it would just be different. but audio would change nothing. >> no i am with you that. >> is absently identical and i just think what we will see. next question. >> maybe that should be the last question i'm getting the signals that right. >> i like to do this coolly a question again, and that he's
condescending toward women. talk about ideology. yes we all have ideological differences and we can get along but he is so condescending to women. >> can we take a question from a woman? [laughter] it's interesting because justice scalia does something that justices do not do. i think the condescension is part of that, just in over devout opinion what the gay marriage opinion when he said justice kennedy was a bad writer an idiot, i don't think the supreme court that justices have egos, i think it is going to favorably worry justice in the future. i know justice ginsburg hopes that it some people are
relatable. i think she has marginalized herself on the court that language. >> can you go to the microphone so everyone can hear you. >> well, we will wait. >> i may buy your book if, if i can have some sense of how the justices determined which cases to take each year? >> that the high say cancer. >> and what role does ruth bader ginsburg plan the decision making? >> well i don't know if i'm extremely qualified to answer that question is an ex- recent graduate of law school and out-of-court watcher. they get way too many cases for them to possibly take. it is really about figuring out what the most important ones are. most of the cases they take are
not hot button issues and are not exciting. one of the major reasons why they'll go before the court is because there is a circuit split so the lower court has decided in issue in different ways of the supreme court needs to resolve that. but as far as major issues, maybe you can space bar. >> i just want to add a point because most people are interested in ruth peter ginsberg. in the next few weeks will hear about import cases they're taking it. we should all be paying attention to. in particular one is the sequel to hobby lobby. that we should hear about any day. that is another case about access to contraception against the religious right of organizations that have health insurance. possibly even more critical,
very key to the issues that justice ginsburg has devoted her life to its cases that come from texas, mississippi. mississippi trying to shut down its last abortion clinic, texas trying to shut down 75% of their abortion clinics. the question the question will be, will they take the case and it if they do we should get a few months before the presidential election and it should be a question of does it violate a woman's constitutional right to shut down every clinic in her stay if it's there to protect her? we do not know what role justice ginsburg will have in selecting these cases but we do know there is a lot at stake. we learned that she wears a special collar, so next june there be no camera in the court but anyone sitting in the room, any liberal sitting in the room
will not want to see that dissenting collar. i have. >> i have to make one point before we go. christmas is coming, honig is cominghanukkah is coming. the notorious rgb is for sale after this program. it makes an excellent to present for whatever holiday you choose to celebrate. i hope you, and shauna will go sign that copies for you. i hope you will join me in thanking them for this excellent conversation [applause]. >> every week and on c-span two, book 2b offers programming programming focused on nonfiction authors and books. keep watching for more here on c-span2.
>> next up from politics and prose bookstore in washington, dc. lawyer and historian linda hirschman looks at the relationship between and the impact of the first two women to serve on the supreme court. sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg. >> hello. i think we're going to get started here. welcome to politics and prose. my name is justin, and is justin, and the programs manager here at the store. which we do book groups and signings. i can also speak closer the mic. i think you all for coming out tonight. we are honored here to have it linda hirschman speaking about sisters-in-law. first a few house notes. now would be the time to turn off electronic devices that may be per buzz throughout the proceeding. now, linda will be taking questions in the second half of the event, for that we