In an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow at Columbia University Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that she believes the “MeToo” movement will have staying power and that she isn’t worried about substantive backlash.
In a nod to Ginsburg’s nickname (Notorious R.B.G.), her introduction song was a Notorious B.I.G number.
Harlow began the interview by providing the audience with background information on Ginsburg, including that while attending Harvard she was asked to “defend” her place in the class which otherwise would have gone to a man, and that at the start of her career she was quite aware that she was paid significantly less than her male peers. The gender pay gap is an issue that Justice Ginsburg has been vociferous about throughout her career.
Poppy Harlow’s first question was, “In your first argument, as an attorney before the court, you quoted the feminist, the attorney, the abolitionist… Sarah Grimke… who said in 1837, ‘I ask no favor for my sex; all I ask of our brethren —-‘, at which point Ginsburg herself joins to finish the quote, ‘is that they take their feet off our necks.'”
Harlow asked Ginsburg whether she felt their feet had indeed been taken off our necks. Ginsburg replied, “Much more so than I had ever dreamed possible.”
The interview is both long and wide-ranging. Justice Ginsburg talks about everything from the extent to which sexism played a role in the 2016 presidential campaign to attacks on the judiciary, the First Amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment, the necessity of a free press, etc.
When asked to elaborate on the sexism of the 2016 presidential election in particular, Justice Ginsburg said:
” I think it was difficult for Hillary Clinton to get by, in the macho atmosphere prevailing during that campaign. And she was criticized… in a way I think no man would have been criticized.”
Ginsburg said that sexism played and “prominent” role in the 2016 election, but she did add that she thinks America is now ready for a woman president and “will be next time.” She then stopped herself from going further on that topic and said she didn’t want to get in trouble — which was a cheeky nod to Donald Trump’s total meltdown about comments Ginsburg made about him during the 2016 presidential campaign. Gorsuch, who sits on a stolen seat, is apparently allowed to attend dinner parties with McConnell and company but God forbid Ruth Bader Ginsburg should appear to mix jurisprudence with politics by stating her opinion of a presidential candidate in public.
And… we’re back to double standards.