Back in March, I had the opportunity to appear at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We spoke before a small audience of D.C. school children, their teachers, and a few others. Thrill #1: Meeting and being introduced by Carla Hayden, the first woman and first African American to hold the office of Librarian of Congress. Thrill #2: Reading a few pages from my book I Dissent under the watchful and twinkling eye of the lady it’s all about, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thrill #3: Interviewing RBG before this very appreciative audience!
The Library of Congress recently posted its video of the event, and I post it here. Of course, I have to avert my eyes, and kind of only half-listen, when I click “play” on the video. (Surely I’m not the only person who is squeamish about seeing herself on tape.) Setting that aside, here are my favorite parts, identified by Minutes:Seconds so you can scroll right to them. There’s much laughter throughout–
11:17 (RBG explaining how the Supreme Court works), 13:58 (talking about her parents and life in her Brooklyn neighborhood), 15:11 (home ec class and singing), 18:15 (attending college at Cornell). Kids’ questions start at 33:48, and the first one was: “Were you involved in the Women’s March?” I love her answer; she pauses midway through, but you’ll want to listen all the way to 35:00.
There she is, then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, standing in the White House Rose Garden with President Bill Clinton, who has just introduced her as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s made his remarks, and now she is making hers. Her daughter Jane, a professor at Columbia Law School (like her mother before her!), is out of the country. But RBG puts her front and center, as a mother does:
RBG: My daughter Jane reminded me a few hours ago in a good luck call from Australia of a sign of the change we have had the good fortune to experience. In her high school yearbook on her graduation in 1973, the listing for Jane Ginsburg under “ambition” was “to see her mother appointed to the Supreme Court.”
RBG: The next line read “If necessary, Jane will appoint her.”
Another laugh, of course. Delightful.
You can watch it all here. The excerpt comes up just before the 4 minute mark.
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I receive a surprising number of inquiries about That Tote Bag–the “I Dissent” tote bag that I carry around and that a certain Supreme Court justice has been photographed with.
Where can I get one? Is it for sale? people ask me. It is not; the bag was a limited-run promotional item handed out last year by Simon & Schuster, publisher of I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. But! The book’s illustrator, who created the design for this tote bag, has created several new variations on it and is offering them for sale on the Society6 website. Have a look:
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