I think there are actually many more parallels between Ginsburg and O’Connor than there are differences, starting with their academic distinction and difficulties getting jobs. Also, I think the affection between them was so real. I remember interviewing Justice Ginsburg once during that period before Justice Sotomayor was appointed [and] when she was the only woman on the Court and she hated that. She really didn’t like being the only woman on the Court and she liked the fact — and O’Connor liked the fact — that they were different in many ways. You know, here you have O’Connor, this tall, outgoing, rangey westerner, and Ginsburg, this bookish Brooklynite, and they both like the idea that it showed that women aren’t just one way in the world, that women are complicated and different from one another, yet it’s important that women also be represented and both of them are fierce advocates for more women judges and more women in all positions of power.
You can listen to yesterday’s interview with Justice O’Connor here. And trust us: we mean ‘Listen.’ The transcript does not do justice to the audio.
Image of Ginsburg via the New York Historical Society
Image of O’Connor by StealMySoul/Flickr