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tv   Open Phones with Linda Hirshman  CSPAN  April 1, 2016 8:58pm-9:28pm EDT

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stacked deck. i think it will be about how she got that message out. she flew groups on the white house lawn, she does every kind of social media there is. i think it i think it will be a while before first lady feel feeds kale chips to someone dressed in drag on late-night television. she will say i will make a fool of myself to get the message out if that is what i have to do.o s i think she has made extraordinary strides in figuring out this job that when she came and made no sense to anybody. >> i give her enormous credit for doing this on unbelievably difficult job. there is no question that she had the finest line toe walk that any first lady had to walk. it's astonishing how hard it was and i give her enormous credit for doing it. i think at the end of the day the question is, what
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is the message that you're getting out. she did something a lot like sander did, which was by being there and being successful at it she got a message out that has very little to do with kale. in my opinion.n as [laughter]e but that's i think she was the icon as was sandra. it took in her case as it did in both sanders and ruth cases and on believable amount of self-discipline. >> i think that is an excellent place rest and. unfortunately we are out of time. please join me in thanking our authors today. [applause]. they will be adjourning to the u of a bookstore sales tend to end signing area booth number 153. thank you again. >> .. [inaudible conversationaller:
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>> join us to discuss the 2016 presidential campaign including the wisconsin primary and then we have media coverage of the campaign including recent remarks by president obama on political journalism and "the wall street journal" discusses the latest monthly job's report.
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>> all farm jobs that are unpleasant is referred to as stoop labor and this is the only area in which the american farm labor falls short and is supplemented by mexican citiz citizens. the term most common used is brasso. this means a man who works with his arms and hands in spanish. the big question in many minds is why? >> this 20-minute film produced by there california growers ass association promoted the exchange program. >> my view is they are
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aggressive, over extended in afghanistan, they have bitten off more than in my judgment they should be allowed to digest and i think the best answer is for them to know the united states is going to keep its commitment. >> i agree. if people want to be free the united states should be willing to provide weapons to anyone who wants to fight for their freedom against those hostile forces. >> the 1980 texas republican primary debate between former california governor ronald reagan and former cia director george hw bush. >> this is the least of the classical buildings. the other buildings is very neoclassical. and this one is a mirror image
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but a litter plainer. it is very modest. some people compare it to a large icecube tray. >> don ritchie takes us into the newest of the senate office buildings to learn about its construction and place in hisdy. and smithsonian portrait gallery david ward chronicles lincoln's life. >> lincoln takes time out from writing the inaugural address or fighting the war and you notice the eyes disappear. the sense in which lincoln is probing to the public in his suffering. >> for the complete american history tv schedule go to
9:04 pm >> more from tucson festival of the book where we talk to linda hirshman about her books "sisters in law." this is half an hour. >> host: linda hirshman is now with us. linda hirshman, what is the relationship between sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg ? were they friends? >> i would say they had an affectioniate alliance. they were not bff's. ruth bader ginsburg was really friends with scalia and marty and ms. scalia. and sandra day o'connor was really good friends with lois powell. they would go on vacation together. you never here about ginsburg and o'connor doing that. but they went to all kinds of official women in law things together.
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it is clear from their demeanor toward one another that they had an affectionate alliance. >> host: what was their first meeting like? >> guest: i don't know when they first met. but in 1991, when sandra day o'connor was appointed to the supreme court ruth bader ginsburg was in washington on the washington, d.c. circuit. she heard about it on the radio and did not know who o'connor was. o'connor was an arkansas state intermediate level judge. but ginsburg said she was glad to hear it. we know they met before 1983 because when o'connor got on the supreme court she inherited potter stewart's law clerk and that law clerk had clerked for ginsburg in the court below. so o'connor's first year on the supreme court she had a clerk who had been ginsburg's clerk.
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>> host: what about at the supreme court? what do you know about ruth bader ginsburg 's first days? >> guest: we heard earlier michele obama reached out to get data on being a good first lady. there is a lot of stuff that is oral tradition and you have to learn it from somebody and sandra day o'connor taught a lot of to ruth bader ginsburg. she went to her chambers and explained how to do the lighting so it would be a softer and more pleasant environment to work in. and the etiquette of arguments. there were many unspoken ways in which o'connor helped ginsburg to be a success because o'connor wanted ginsburg to be a success. >> guest: is ruth bader ginsburg going to miss her buddy?
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>> guest: she misses her so much. someone asked gins how sneelt in 2006 and she said lonely. she really missed sandra day o'connor in a thousand ways. here is a really cool way o'connor was of enormous value to ginsburg. she was senior by the time that -- by the end of her term she was very seen knior and the think in order of seniority. so by 1993 when ginsburg came on, o'connor was very senior. she spoke, i think, third. and she was a swing vote. once she would talk for the woman plaintiff gins didn't have to take the argument because o'connor made the argument. after she left, ginsburg started to notice that the men were not listening to her.
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now, isn't that interesting? sotomayor and justice kagan came came and ginsburg was pleased they were there now. kagen and ruth bader ginsburg had been friends before so it was understandable she would be glad. but there were stories about justice sot0mayor's warmth has been nourishing for ginsburg. ruth bader ginsburg was as any normal human being would be sad because her husband died right after soto mayor came. >> host: when i used the word buddy i was referring to antonin scalia. >> guest: oh, sorry. everybody asks me about that. they said they had a common
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interest in music and writing and they corrected each other's draft and made them better which is extraordinary. >> host: they were often on opposite sides. >> guest: they were. and they represent a time in american politics when people could love each other for their character and their character was not so tied up with their public-political position. but it is now. i doubt that friendship would form again now. >> host: linda hirshman, as an attorney and a cultural historian, is lifetime appointments, in your view, best for the supreme court? >> guest: i have been thinking about that a lot because the demographics have changed. even though supreme court in general, like many old rich white people live longer and always have, so it isn't so striking as it is for the general population, people live
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longer and women live a lot longer now, so i have been thinking about this question. there is an argument for limiting the tenure now that people's lifepan is so long. you would have to amend the constitution which would be hard to do but isn't crazy. the protection of life tenure means you have room to grow as i saw justice kennedy do. you can develop positions that are different than the ones you held at the moment of your appointment. that is positive. it is not crazy to suggest that in today's population. >> host: linda hirshman is our guest. "sisters in law" is the name of the book. and iris is in south line, michigan. iris, go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: hi, linda, we have the same hair, color and style.
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we could be sisters. i wanted to ask when they take on these tasks as first ladies why don't they continue them after they leave? it is like a hobby. i would like your reaction to that. >> guest: oh, you mean like child obesity? would michele obama continue to pursue it after being done in the white house? is that what you are asking. >> host: a little off our topic here but... >> guest: interesting. there were matters like beautification that actually lady bird johnson continued her beautification program after she left. i think it is a matter of is it something that sincerely interest them or is it what they think is safe and political poplar to do and not hurting her husband who is afterall the elected people. >> host: let's hear from julie
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in california. we are talking about women in the supreme court and the supreme court. >> caller: hi, i thought it was a great panel and i look forward to purchasing your book. before the break you mentioned self-discipline. i was wondering what were your habits? and how did they develop them that made them so successful and so special? >> guest: one thing they had it is they never believed they were cinderella. they had faith they deserved to be there and because of that they treated the men who were in that powerful role as if they, the woman, were exactly the equal of the men. because they treated the men as equal when the men pressed o'connor and ginsburg to admit they were inferior they took
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offense and when they took offense they were so self-disciplined they only took revenge when it would be affective. the classic example is the dean at harvard law school asked ruth bader ginsburg what she was doing taking the place of the man at harvard and she said she thought she should know as much as possible about her husband's work. he was a year ahead of her at harvard. and after the woman's movement, ruth bader ginsburg told that story about the dean so many times he wrote to the harvard newspaper and said he was only kidding. but it was that capacity to wait until it was effective that made them so effective. how did they get to be who they were? i think part of it was life on the ranch and part is ruth bader ginsburg is just smarter than any other person i ever heard of. she was show smart she could see
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where the dangers lay and avoided them. >> host: did sandra day o'connor sit down with you for the book? >> guest: no. she took the position there wasn't enough material for the bo book. i think she mate have thought i was only going to write about their relationship which would not have supported a whole book instead of using it as the bases to tell the story of their lives for which their was ample material. >> host: we are here in arkansas. the home of sandra day o'connor. what affect did where we are in the country have on who she became? >> guest: enormous affect. she is a product of the west. i lived in arizona for years so
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i knew what was going on. she lived on a ranch where there was no hand to spare. she had to function and was expected to drive at 15 and do all of the things a boy child did. arizona and the west in general have a robust culture of volunteering. sandra day o'connor was so competent she was valued. it was a more open world and that is why i love it. >> host: the fact that sandra day o'connor came from a more political background than ruth bader ginsburg did that affect how they were on the court? >> guest: tremendously.
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the head of the aclu and a sponsor of ruth bader ginsburg told me that sandra day o'connor had a laser-like intelligence for where the american public was on any issue at any time. >> host: that is what the head of the aclu told you? >> guest: correct. the head of the aclu giving that lavish praise to sandra day o'connor. she was. if you look at her potentials with agonizing standpoint from a feminist writer she gradually moved society forward because she knew where they were. >> host: can you give an example of a case? >> guest: i would say one of the cases was the sexual harassment case. this was the first case in which the supreme court of the united states held that sexual harassment was a violation of the civil rights act and not just a little good fun at the office. the first time.
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it was very, very, important the supreme court say that. and they had a unanimous court to say this guy in the bank violated the civil rights act when he made his female employee's life a living hell. the question was whether the bank would be liable for the bad acts of its employee and the court split 4-4 and o'connor was the critical swing vote and she said unless the bank knew there supervisor was harassing the employee they would not be reliable. this isn't a great feminist moment. i asked her clerk why she did that and the court said she wanted the first opinion to be unanimous. >> host: ann in iowa go ahead with your comment or question for linda hirshman. >> caller: yes, you said that
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justice ginsburg said she would not be -- no one as liberal as her would be appointed again and i think that is too bad because i think our founding fathers were so much more liberal than all of these people that say the constitution says this. what is your opinion on that? >> guest: some of our founding fathers were slaveholders so i would be reluctant to call them liberals but i will tell you how i think you right. they wrote a constitution that was a living document. they expected it to govern a nation. as it changed, as they could not evenman n and writing the constitution as a living document was an amazing and progressive thing in the 18th century.
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>> host: linda hirshman has written books on the gay revolution, victory, the triumphant gay revolution, and her 2006 book "get to work and get a life before it is too late; a call to arms for women of the world" she is a form professor. rachel in durham, north carolina. hi, rachel. >> caller: can you hear me? >> host: we are listening. >> caller: i have written several books about the supreme court one with jeffrey cuban and another one by a woman i cannot remember -- i have read -- her name. and in jeffrey's book it seemed that when o'connor came on it court renquiest wanted it to be
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his court. >> guest: she called herself the yenta of paradise valley which is funny considering the population of paradise valley. she took a lively interest in the happiness of others. i interviewed her on the phone and she said she hoped future female supreme court justice would be able to be married and have children as she and ruth had happily done. it became the o'connor court because it split 4-4. once powell left and kennedy came on, she became the swing vote between the four liberals and the four conservatives including kennedy. to some extent, her position was a reflection of the changes the
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nation was going through as we elected ronald reagan and he put increasingly conservative justice on the court and the number of liberals declined. i am so grateful that we had sandra day o'connor as the first woman on the supreme court because she did such a fabulous job. i don't think another person appointed by ronald reagan could have possibly done what he did in these years. >> host: it is fair to say it is the kennedy court today? >> guest: you would think it was the kennedy court. he holds the decisive vote. i think it is now the court in waiting. we are now 4-4. we are waiting to see what the political nation is going to turn up to resolve it. otherwise they are going to start to split 4-4 and that will mean it is the nobody's court. >> host: linda hirshman, you are an attorney.
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make an argument for both sides. delay the nomination. push forward the nomination. >> guest: i will say this. the constitution of the united states does not say that the senate has to meet and advise and consent. that is not what the language says or the meaning. not to sound like an originalist like scalia. that would leave it up to their political judgment. i think their political adjustment judgment is wrong. i think they are making the divide in america worse by applying it to the supreme court of the united states. just between you and me, most of the lower courts are dominated by democratic appointees. so be refusing to put another justice on the supreme court,
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what the republican senators are doing is handing the governance of the nation off to predominantly democrat k lower courts. >> host: what about their spouses? were they supportive? they have both passed now but were they supportive of their wive's career? >> guest: apparently so. marty is the legendary husband who learned how to cook and was using his web of connections to advance his wife's career. she could not have done it without him and i believe it. o'connor was less visiblely ad van vancing his wife's career. she stayed in phoenix with she could have governor to washington. john o'connor left a lucrative
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practice in phoenix and went to washington where he never again had a great of career. you have to give him credit for supporting her. i want to also say whether it is same-sex marriage or opposite-sex marriage or no marriage at all but if you decide to get married these were great marriages, they made each other happy, they loved each other, and it was beautiful. it was heartwarming to me because high husband just died when i started writing the book so i loved seeing how happy they were. >> host: the next call is marcy in new hampshire. go ahead. >> caller: linda, i cannot wait to read your book. i look forward to it. my question is: have you noticet or did you note in your book any of the differences that
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women on the supreme court now in their decisions make differently than the previous supreme courts which were all men? and is it just the issues that they have to deal with? thank you. >> guest: that is a very, very good question. sandra day o'connor's juris prudence on cases involving women were more liberal than her decisions any other arena. sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg agreed like 95% of the time when they sat together on questions involving women. but certainly no more than 50-60 percent of the time on everything else. i looked at these numbers actually. secondly, did ruth bader ginsburg being a liberal democratic appointed woman vote
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differently from say steven brier? not so much. you would say gender doesn't make a difference but that is wrong. gender makes a difference in the questions they ask in oral arguments and the way they shape the discourse when issues involving women and girls are in front of the court the presence of someone like ruth bader ginsburg on the court made an enormous difference in the way that harassment and school children harassment was discussed in front of the court. there is a big court journalism so it is reported in the papers and everybody gets a listen in how you talk about what it means for a 13-year-old girl to have her body searched which was wan of the cases. having ginsburg on the court made a huge difference. we sauce -- we just saw the texas attorney general being taken to task in the most
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astonishing way when he tried to defend texas' abortion law. having those justice on the court make a big difference. >> host: our next caller is from new orleans. good afternoon. please go ahead, we are listening. >> caller: hello. ms. linda hirshman, i think you are a wonderful person. i didn't complete college but my daughters did. what gave you the idea to write this book? >> guest: so to some extent i swam in the stream of ruth bader ginsburg and sandra day o'connor. my whole career, i am 71 and graduated from law school in 1979 and the supreme court had not said the equal protection clause applied to women. two years later when ruth bader ginsburg got them to say that it meant the world to me.


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