Last week we wondered what a female Supreme Court justice has to do to influence you. We thought we might give it a try. Here are a few recent Q&As with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Q: What made you decide to become a lawyer in the first place?
A: Growing up, I didn’t have many other avenues to get a decent paying job. I decided to learn how to sit and read law when I was 11. When I was 13, my father suggested we attend law school. I saw the value of those opportunities in helping other people.Q: What do you tell young people who want to pursue their dreams in law?
A: I want them to realize that a criminal conviction is never a guarantee of future success, but the experience of working in a criminal courtroom, working in an office, or working in a courtroom is certainly one of the best ways to use the legal profession to make a difference.Q: How do you act in public as a woman in the workplace?
A: I try to take it as seriously as possible and try to make myself feel really comfortable in areas that don’t normally get the attention that I get in the courtroom. My public demeanor, however, has always been as I would describe it — professional, confident, and confident as I can be. I use my words in a professional, logical way and make it about the larger effort at being successful.Q: What made you apply to law school in the first place?
A: My desire to go to law school began after I had graduated from high school. The concept of going to law school appealed to me, and it has filled me with deep feelings of admiration and excitement that I can help people, solve problems, and be a big part of shaping the law as a profession. It has also come through how you interact with the people you work with, as well as some sense of privilege and dignity.Q: What do you feel is the greatest injustice in the law?
A: It was impossible to find an equation or a way to put the facts in proper perspective to eliminate the injustice to someone who has been given a bad rap. Often the only way to appreciate injustice is to become aware of how people perceived you for many, many years before you were hurt.Q: Do you believe gender has any role in your appearance?
A: No, of course not. I am incredibly free-spirited and am an even-keeled person. However, I think a woman in the Supreme Court who is physically attractive or even who looks like she should be attractive will not be viewed in the same way. I don’t blame myself for being like that, because of whom I have been compared to, or have had her bad actions attributed to me, or all of the things that people say when describing someone, especially to women.Q: What doesn’t you like about your appearance?
A: I have wonderful hair and look in the mirror and take this as a compliment, but it doesn’t mean that other people do too. It means that I have a good, healthy, and broad-minded perspective. I see how many people don’t deal with criticisms with an open mind, or with a willingness to listen to ideas.Q: What did you remember most about your career as a Supreme Court Justice?
A: I spent the last few years working at the Supreme Court right in the middle of the Bush administration. My sister-in-law is now a justice of the Supreme Court and I watched her career in the shadows, because of everything that went on after my time in the courtroom, and in the day-to-day interactions between the seven justices that we had.
It’s hard to remember, but it’s also gratifying because I am grateful to all the people who have hired me to serve on the Supreme Court. I love my job, and there is no greater satisfaction than to see the decisions being upheld. I also take pride in the institution that it is, and I hope it continues to serve as a voice for the people.Q: How do you determine what’s fair?
A: As I say, I don’t judge other people. I try to use my judgment in every situation, and I think that it’s hard to judge a person on their appearance, and I think that I have been fortunate to work at a high level, and that my experience has enabled me to focus on the larger project at hand.
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