Review: ‘Ruth – Justice Ginsburg In Her Own Words’ gives RBG the last word on her legacy
Perhaps the most striking image is a shot of Ginsberg’s 1956 law-school class, in which he is surrounded by male peers. At that point, she tells an incoming class, a legal career “seemed to me to be an area in which women were not yet wanted.” Later, she addresses the question whether she dreamed in the Supreme Court by saying that “you don’t aspire to anything that is such a remote responsibility.”
Ginsberg remembers suffering from “three attacks” when he began applying for jobs at elite law firms – a woman, a Jew, and the mother of a young child. Even before that she was “very susceptible to discrimination,” she explains, growing up in a Jewish family during World War II.
Of course, Ginsberg greatly helped to break the glass ceiling, adopting a sly legal strategy, using men as plaintiffs in gender-discrimination cases to advance the cause of women and equality.
Discussing Ginsberg’s writing and strategic prowess, former colleague ME Freeman compared him to golfer Tiger Woods in his tiger, saying that Ginsburg simply played at a higher level than everyone around him.
Writer-director Freida Lee Mock doesn’t really break new ground – it’s been pledged pretty well, as has been said – but that doesn’t stop the tribute from feeling warm and hearty, especially after Ginsburg’s death . Running chronologically, the conversation provides insight into his career as a lawyer, professor, and jurist at various critical stages.
More personal content includes a section devoted to Ginsberg’s great friendship with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scallia, an example of his ideological contrast, citizenship, amid today’s toxic partisanship. As biographer Irene Caramon says, “She disagreed with everything she said, but said how she loves.”
A similar sensation comes during the hearing of Ginsburg’s Supreme Court nomination, during which conservative senators are shown saying that while they may differ with him on the policy, they dispute his intelligence or merit can not do. He was confirmed by a vote of 96–3.
“Ruth” makes particular reference to Ginsberg’s lethargic legal influence, and his writings in dissent during his 27 years as a justice often influenced the opinions of lower courts.
“Ruth – Justice Ginsberg in His Words” premiered in cinemas on February 12, Starz on March 12 and March 9 on demand.