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In her own words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers an intimate look at her life and career, through an extraordinary series of conversations with the head of the National Constitution Center.
This remarkable book presents a unique portrait of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, drawing on more than twenty years of conversations with Jeffrey Rosen, starting in the 1990s and continuing through the Trump era. Rosen, a veteran legal journalist, scholar, and president of the National Constitution Center, shares with us the justice’s observations on a variety of topics, and her intellect, compassion, sense of humor, and humanity shine through. The affection they have for each other as friends is apparent in their banter and in their shared love for the Constitution—and for opera.
In Conversations with RBG, Justice Ginsburg discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, her favorite dissents, the cases she would most like to see overruled, the #MeToo movement, how to be a good listener, how to lead a productive and compassionate life, and of course the future of the Supreme Court itself. These frank exchanges illuminate the steely determination, self-mastery, and wit that have inspired Americans of all ages to embrace the woman known to all as “Notorious RBG.”
Whatever the topic, Justice Ginsburg always has something interesting—and often surprising—to say. And while few of us will ever have the opportunity to chat with her face-to-face, Jeffrey Rosen brings us by her side as never before. Conversations with RBG is a deeply felt portrait of an American hero.
George Washington University law professor Rosen (William Howard Taft) shines a flattering light on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this discerning work. In a series of conversations held between 2010 and 2019, which Rosen has condensed and rearranged by theme, Ginsburg discusses the gender discrimination cases she argued before the Supreme Court as a volunteer ACLU lawyer in the 1970s; her appointment to the D.C. circuit court in 1980; and her recovery from three broken ribs and lung cancer surgery during the Supreme Court's 2018 2019 term. Ginsburg rearticulates her previous criticisms of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (she believes it should have been restricted to the Texas law in question, and based on equal protection rather than privacy rights), but remains "skeptically hopeful" it will not be overturned. Ginsburg also speaks to the legal aspects of the #MeToo movement ("you need to build fairness into the system") and offers her assessment of the court's newest members, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh (they're both "very congenial"). Rosen's helpful notes and straightforward interview style allow Ginsburg's exceptional legal mind to take center stage. The justice's many admirers, as well as readers interested in constitutional law, will find this book to be full of valuable insights.