Have you seen the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg (#Notorious RBG), the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America? Check out the trailer here – Honestly – you don’t want to miss this.
I saw this 98 minute documentary and it is spellbindingly good. I knew a little about RBG but I learned so much more from this film. I had no idea, for example, that when herself and her husband were both studying law, he got very ill (cancer I think?) and she not only continued her studies, but typed up the notes that his friends took for him, and arranged times for them to call and discuss the contents. It was how she learned to survive on 3-4 hours sleep a night – a habit she has, to the present day.
When she graduated no legal firm would employ her – despite the fact that she was in the top 10% of legal graduates in the USA. Can you credit that? A brilliant mind but no one wanted it because it was housed in a female body……….. honestly!….so she took the academic route and began teaching in university.
She first came to prominence again as a brilliant mind when the American Civil Liberties Union asked her to argue a case about a housing allowance which was paid to male but not female married members of the armed forces. She argued the case on the basis of gender discrimination and spent the following decades arguing for and achieving some really significant advances for women.
President Bill Clinton almost failed to consider her for a seat on the Supreme Court because she was 60 years old. Her husband – a remarkable man and staunch champion of his wife – lobbied everyone to lobby the President to consider her. Within the first 15 minutes of her interview with him, Bill Clinton decided to appoint her.
Hers is one of the most significant voices on the supreme court and her (mostly) dissenting opinions are anxiously awaited by legal students and practitioners. At 85 years of age she remains one of the most resilient, remarkable and independent voices on the Supreme Court.
The documentary covers all this and much more. It should be compulsory viewing for anyone, anywhere, who uses that awful expression “whatever!”. This documentary is the perfect response.