BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared at UC Berkeley for a speaking engagement Monday evening, drawing a full house to Zellerbach Hall.
Ginsburg is starting her 27th year on the Supreme Court. Despite her age and recent health issues, the pioneer for women’s rights seemed to be stronger than ever.
Roughly 1,600 people came to hear Justice Ginsburg speak on a wide range of topics, from her health to the work that still needs to be done on the Supreme Court.
There was a huge round of applause as the 86-year-old Ginsburg was introduced at Zellerbach. In August, she beat cancer for the 4th times. Her health was one of the first topics to be addressed.
“Compared to how I was six months ago, I’m doing very well,” said Ginsburg.
Ginsburg talked about the early years, including the moment she knew she wanted to pursue a career in law.
“Harvard didn’t admit women into business school in the 1950s, so it was law school,” remembered Ginsburg.
She even shared her mother’s advice for a successful marriage: sometimes play deaf.
“That is advice I not only followed for 56 years, but one I follow til this day to deal with my colleagues,” Ginsburg added.
While she made the crowd laugh, she also inspired.
“She was able to break so many barriers. That’s inspiring,” said law student Saffa Khal.
“I work for gender equality for the EU and we look at her cases to prepare our cases, so she’s very inspiring,” said Karen Vandekerkhove, a resident scholar from Europe.
Monday also happened to be the 100th anniversary of the first woman hired at the Berkeley School of Law. Cal alum and State Senator for the 9th District Nancy Skinner was on hand for the lecture.
As an advocate for gender and income equality herself, Senator Skinner has closely followed Justice Ginsburg’s work on the bench.
“For woman, she’s been everything. Everything,” explained Skinner.