Last Thursday, Justice Ginsburg spoke with journalist Nina Totenberg about her new book, “My Own Words.” The event, which took place at the Lisner Auditorium on The George Washington University campus, was co-sponsored by the Newseum Institute and the Supreme Court Fellows Alumni Association. Contributing authors to the book, Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams of Georgetown University Law Center, also joined the conversation.
The conversation was light-hearted and peppered with Justice Ginsburg’s quips. The four women discussed many of the highlights of Ginsburg’s legal career, but also touched on the challenges she faced as a working mother in a demanding, male-dominated industry. Ginsburg also shared memories of her husband, Marty, who was critical to her career success. One of the best pieces of advice she ever received, she said, was from her mother-in-law on her wedding day, who told Ginsburg that a “little deafness” was key to a happy marriage — and a career in law, as Justice Ginsburg discovered.
Anticipating the audience’s eagerness to learn Justice Ginsburg’s opinion of Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch, Totenberg pressed Ginsburg for her remarks, but she demurred, saying only that Gorsuch “writes very well.” Earlier in the conversation, Ginsburg had lamented divisions within the Senate Judiciary Committee.
As an 83-year-old woman on the Supreme Court — whom many see as a defender of American values that are currently threatened — Justice Ginsburg has many concerned well-wishers, and frequently deals with questions about her health. The discussion kicked off with jokes about Ginsburg’s workout routine and kale intake, but later the Justice struck a more serious note when she said that she will continue on the Supreme Court as long as she can “do the job full-steam.”
“When I’m no longer able to do that, I will step down,” she told the audience.