What It Was Like to Clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by birtanpublished on September 25, 2020

I think there's very little doubt that she will go down as one of the most consequential justices to have sat on the supreme court my first meeting with justice ginsburg was when i interviewed with her i

Remember being extremely like nervous about it i don't remember the content of it because i was so nervous i blacked out basically i was very very nervous but she really kind of set me

At ease quite quickly she's a very soft-spoken person and has sometimes a bit of a halting speaking style so you're always cautious to make sure you don't want to be the one cutting off the justice i mean

Good lord don't do that people often ask what is justice ginsburg really like she's an incredible power in terms of her her commitment to working justice ginsburg is such an amazing

Mentor she is um incredibly meticulous and she works really closely with clerks to try to get every word and her opinions perfect she is the toughest person i've ever worked with her ability

To keep going and going and going no matter what is going on is simply unmatched well the year that i was clerking for the justice was a year of a number of very high profile cases two cases

Challenging two so-called affirmative action programs these were the grueter and the gratz cases one of her biggest opinions i think was the skilling case which concerned you know the proper interpretation of

Honest services fraud and recognized that it had to be limited to bribes or kickbacks bush vigor was the most unusual case of the term i think justice ginsburg was the

Just a paragon of calm temperament and did not let the heat of the situation get the best of her so what was it like working for justice ginsberg the justice is a

Night owl and i am a morning person often we would find ourselves exchanging drafts at different times of day the justice typically arrived late and stayed very very late stayed later than

Uh really than all of us you would frequently come in and find messages on your voicemail that were dated in the wee hours of the morning if she wanted to talk to us she would always

Buzz us on her buzzer like this weird intercom that we had which is you know if i hear that buzzer ever you know uh these days i still my heart rate goes up

Because you're just sitting there you know researching or whatever and then the thing goes and it means there's a justice of the supreme court who like wants to

Ask you some hard question about law i think the justice is ultimately very warm to all of our clerks we really feel like you know a part of an extended family of sorts there's this tradition of having little

Celebrations for each person's birthday in chambers we'd sit in her office oftentimes marty her husband would have made some food that she brought in and we would share it

I did go to one opera with her i think she saw that as a bit of an educational mission for most of us i could see how excited she was to be there but that did not rub off on me sorry this

Sorry if you had asked me in 1997 did i think justice ruth bader ginsburg was going to be a pop icon i would have said no oh that's a

Gailzberg the notorious rbd was just getting started this summer that i started marketing and it was fun to sort of explain some of the memes

To her i have a bigger puppet that somebody made it is kind of surreal to have worked for somebody of whom there's a finger puppet i have to say i think first and foremost she'll be

Remembered as one of the preeminent champions for women's equality she is confident in her own skin unapologetic about her beliefs one of the things that justice ginsburg

Taught me that i always keep in mind in my practice now is that cases are not just about the law and the development of the law they're about real people and for her these cases were very much about helping

Those individual people when you look at her life you look at all the obstacles she's overcome for me the one explanation is she just has a certain level of willpower that i've never seen before

To have as an icon for our country and era this amazing woman is just a a great thing to see you

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