Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: "There Is Reason to Hope That We Will See a Better Day"
At 83, MAKER Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court, and one of its most reliably liberal members. And over the course of her years, the R.G.B. has seen — and experienced — a lot in her career, which means she has plenty of perspective about the current administration and its policies. As it turns out, she remains optimistic about the times to come.
In a recent interview with the BBC's Newsnight broadcast, Ginsburg reflected on the symbol of the United States and offered a dash of (much-needed) hope, implying that America can change direction for the better. "A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle; it is the pendulum," she said. "When the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will go back. Some terrible things have happened in the United States, but one can only hope that we learn from those bad things." Although Ginsburg refrained from criticizing any of President Donald Trump's specific policies, she cited the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s as an example of a time that pendulum swung too far.
She also spoke about how impressed she was with the Women's March: "I've never seen such a demonstration, both the numbers and the rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence; it was orderly," she said. "So yes, we are not experiencing the best times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day."
Ginsburg was asked to elaborate on her thoughts from the Thursday BBC interview in a speech she made Friday at George Washington University — in particular, by explaining what she believes makes America great. She listed "the right to speak one's mind," as well as "the idea of our nation being receptive to all people, welcoming of all people" — including "the notion that in our nation we are many and yet we are one," which, she says, is reflected by the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
There have been jokes about the justice's determination to stay on the bench as long as possible — and on Friday she reiterated her intention to work for our country until she can't anymore. "I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam. When I can't, that will be the time I will step down." Here's to many more years of the Notorious R.B.G. See the full BBC interview below:
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Photo Credit: Michael Kovac