"Country roads, take her home
To the place where she belongs
Justice Ginsburg, mountain momma,
Take her home, country roads..."
Actually, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an improbable "mountain momma." One would be hard-pressed to pick a Supreme Court justice who would be more out of place in West Virginia than RBG. But this, dear readers, is a world full of surprises.
Last month, Justice Ginsburg made her way to the Mountain State. On October 20, Ruthie gave a speech at the West Virginia University College of Law, the Edward G. Donley Memorial Lecture. A video of her remarks can be accessed via How Appealing.
A West Virginia-based reader who was on the scene chimes in with a plethora of judicial sightations:
Although we did not have Nino, Breyer, and several other judges in the same room, I thought that I would send along some details of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s visit to West Virginia University College of Law on Thursday, October 20. Ever since the Roberts nomination, I’ve had a questionably healthy obsession with the federal judiciary, and your site has joined the list of places that I visit daily.
Although Rehnquist and O’Connor both paid visits to Morgantown in the last decade, Ginsburg’s delivering the Donnelly Memorial Lecture truly brought many people from the federal judiciary to our state’s sole law school. Judge M. Blane Michael and Judge Robert B. King from the United State Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit made it to the events. Judge Irene Keeley* (whom I would like to nominate for your judicial hottie list, see photo at right) and Judge Robert Maxwell from the U.S.D.C. for the Northern District of West Virginia, plus Judge Robert Chambers from the Southern District, all attended.
WOW! That's an impressive line-up; Justice Ginsburg was welcomed by a gaggle of federal judicial celebrities. (And their presence can't be chalked up to a desire to suck up to their circuit justice; that would be
Justice Thomas Chief Justice Roberts.)
Ginsburg held a morning session to which only law students were admitted, in which she answered questions about a number of topics including foreign law, Kelo, the ERA, and her personal career. She talked about the change from Rehnquist to Roberts, observing that Roberts is young enough to be the son of most of the court members, and that all of the justices recognize him as the best advocate to come before the court prior to his D.C. Circuit appointment. Um yeah, that’s kind of an awesome compliment. She also talked about how her daughter and son-in-law were 2Ls on the law review at HLS when Roberts was managing editor and that she had the inside scoop about his fairness, efficiency, and goodness from her family connection.
Her afternoon session, with the judicial faces mentioned above, was broadcast throughout the state. Though much of her talk on women in the law was general, she tailored some of her remarks to West Virginia, which was unique -- thanks, RBG clerks! She started her afternoon talk with a very nice tribute to Rehnquist, and she ended it with some words about O’Connor.
Fantastic and fascinating! It sounds like Justice Ginsburg's trip down the country road went very well indeed. Perhaps RBG will visit West Virginia again in the near future? (And no, vacationing at The Greenbrier doesn't count.)
(If you're wondering about why Article III Groupie isn't blogging about the Alito nomination, she has a good excuse. A3G has been getting killed at work lately -- see, she really does work at a law firm -- and she's several days behind in her newspaper and blog reading. So, in order to avoid embarrassing herself, she's going to hold off on blogging about current events until she has done her catch-up reading. Please bear with her!)
* Like Justice Ginsburg, Judge Keeley was also born in Brooklyn, New York.