Saturday, September 19, 2020

With Gratitude To Ruth Bader Ginsburg (update on September 23 with video embedded)


Constitutional Oath:

“I, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

(The following is copied from The Posen Library)

Thank you, Chief Justice. Mr. President, distinguished guests, colleagues, and friends. Not yet two months ago, President Clinton announced his intention to nominate me as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I said then that if confirmed I would try in every way to justify his faith in me. I renew that pledge this afternoon in the presence of people I hold dear: my family, colleagues, co-workers, and treasured friends.
There is one in this audience whose presence I want specially to acknowledge. She is my wonderful mother-in-law, Evelyn Ginsburg. She was always there when I needed her. She sensed without ever being asked when that was. She constantly held up my spirits when the going was rough. “This too will pass,” she would say. (am's emphasis in green:  In yet another synchronicity for me, the words "This too will pass" came to mind early this morning as I thought about the mounting challenges we are currently facing.  Thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for your continuing strong presence which I will now connect with those words.)  I am overjoyed, Mother, that you are with me today.
This weekend I attended a celebration of women lawyers in New York. The keynote speaker was our grand Attorney General, Janet Reno. It may have been the best attended; it was certainly the most remarkable event at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting.
Awards were made in the name of Margaret Brent, a great lady of the mid-1600s, celebrated as the first woman lawyer in America. Her position as a woman, yet a possessor of power, so confused her contemporaries that she was sometimes named in court records not as Mistress Margaret Brent, but as Gentleman Margaret Brent. Times are changing. The President made that clear by appointing me and, just last week, naming five other women to Article III courts. Six of his total of 14 federal bench nominees thus far are women.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently quoted Oklahoma Supreme Court Jeanne Coyne, who was asked, “Do women judges decide cases differently by virtue of being women?” Justice Coyne replied that in her experience, a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion.
I agree, but I also have no doubt that women, like persons of different racial groups and ethnic origins, contribute what a fine jurist, the last Fifth Circuit Judge Alvin Rubin, described as a distinctive medley of views influenced by differences in biology, cultural impact, and life experience. A system of justice will be the richer for diversity of background and experience. It will be the poorer in terms of appreciating what is at stake and the impact of its judgments if all of its members are cast from the same mold.
I was impressed by the description of women at the Bar by one of the 1993 Margaret Brent prize recipients, Esther Rothstein, an attorney in private practice in Chicago. Esther said she found women attorneys to be tough, yet tender; wanting to win, but not vindictive; cautiously optimistic, with the sense to settle for victories that do not leave one’s opponent bloodied and bowed; willing to be a link in a chain that is strong, yet pliable.
In my lifetime, I expect there will be among federal judicial nominees, based on the excellence of their qualifications, as many sisters as brothers in law. That prospect is indeed cause for hope and its realization will be cause for celebration.
Thank you.

For some reason, I can't find a way to embed her swearing-in ceremony from 1993:

(Could New Blogger be the culprit?  I didn't want to use New Blogger, but it appears there is no way to avoid using it, despite the fact that the impression was given that we have a choice.  Mysterious, too, is that the title I gave this post does not appear in the Preview but does appear when I publish it.)

I have figured out how to embed videos on New Blogger! When I click on "insert video" in the task bar, one of the options is "YouTube."  


ellen abbott said...

my daughter bought a t-shirt with RBG's image on it and the words...not fragile like a flower, fragile like a bomb. rest in power RBG.

37paddington said...

Thank you, am. Our loss is immeasurable.

beth coyote said...

Thank you. She was one hell of a woman.