13 September, 2014

The day I met Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Disclaimer: fangirling.

I met Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The notorious RBG.

She came to my school for a Constitution Day event they hold annually. Naturally, when a Supreme Court Justice comes, us law students go crazy.

Last year, they brought Scalia. This year, it was Ginsburg. Nice symmetry, the announcer said. And it is, I've heard they are friends in real life. Like, good friends. Despite their differing ideologies.

Anyway, how did I get to meet her?? Why was I so lucky? Well, I applied for a little research assistant position over the summer. Apparently, I chose wisely because my prof was the one who conducted the interview with RBG. 

I did some research for this event in particular and then she says, I'll get you VIP tickets. I'll get you on the list to meet her, she says.

To be honest, even just sitting two rows away from greatness would have been fantastic. The interview focused on women and the Constitution from the late 1800s to today. She deftly made her way through case after case, instances where women were treated as second class citizens and the landmarks when the Supreme Court gave women what they deserved: equal protection under the law. 

She even touched a bit on Hobby Lobby at the end and I really appreciated her in that moment. There wasn't a word against any of the justices. She calmly said: "As long as one lives, one can learn." She said her dissents are adamant and present for a reason. Some dissents of Justices Holmes and Brandeis have since become law which shows that where great minds differ there is room for growth and change. 

The interview only lasted an hour though I could have listened to her talk about her work with the ACLU and her arguments in front of the Supreme Court for hours. She was so instrumental in the fight for equal rights for women and to hear her speak on the subject was inspiring. 

So then I got to meet her. 

I got about 15 seconds in which my professor introduced me (they know each other from way back) and then I blathered on about researching and the Equal Rights Amendment. I wish I could say I had some really great question to ask her or that I dazzled her with my intelligent remarks but really it was nothing like that. 

I can't say I am really that disappointed in myself, it is Ruth Ginsburg, after all. Some hyperventilation was to be expected.

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