“For almost three years, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the only woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, and “it was a lonely position,” she said on Tuesday.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice, retired in 2006. After that, the makeup of the court felt off, Ginsburg told a crowd in North Little Rock, Ark.
“There was something wrong with the picture,” she continued. “The public would see these eight rather well-fed men coming on the bench … .”
Ginsburg was cut off by loud laughter and applause that lasted several seconds before she could speak again: “and then there was this rather small woman.”
At an event Tuesday night hosted by the Clinton Foundation and Clinton School of Public Service, Ginsburg recalled sometimes feeling overlooked — from her time as a law faculty member to her time as the sole female justice.
She would make a comment. No reaction. Then one of her male colleagues would say the same thing, Ginsburg said, and people would respond, “That’s a good idea. Let’s discuss it.”
“You don’t expect very much from women, so you kind of tune out when she speaks. But you listen when a man speaks,” she said. ‘Now that I have two sisters in law, it doesn’t happen.’”
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