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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last book is a curation of her own legacy, tracing the long history of her work for gender equality and a “more perfect Union.”
In the fall of 2019, Justice Ginsburg visited the University of California, Berkeley School of Law to deliver the first annual Herma Hill Kay Memorial Lecture in honor of her friend, the late Herma Hill Kay, with whom Ginsburg had coauthored the very first casebook on sex-based discrimination in 1974. Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue is the result of a period of collaboration between Ginsburg and Amanda L. Tyler, a Berkeley Law professor and former Ginsburg law clerk. During Justice Ginsburg’s visit to Berkeley, she told her life story in conversation with Tyler. In this collection, the two bring together that conversation and other materials—many previously unpublished—that share details from Justice Ginsburg’s family life and long career. These include notable briefs and oral arguments, some of Ginsburg’s last speeches, and her favorite opinions that she wrote as a Supreme Court Justice (many in dissent), along with the statements that she read from the bench in those important cases. Each document was chosen by Ginsburg and Tyler to tell the story of the litigation strategy and optimistic vision that were at the heart of Ginsburg’s unwavering commitment to the achievement of “a more perfect Union.”
In a decades-long career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an advocate and jurist for gender equality and for ensuring that the United States Constitution leaves no person behind. Her work transformed not just the American legal landscape, but American society more generally. Ginsburg labored tirelessly to promote a Constitution that is ever more inclusive and that allows every individual to achieve their full human potential. As revealed in these pages, in the area of gender rights, Ginsburg dismantled long-entrenched systems of discrimination based on outdated stereotypes by showing how such laws hold back both genders. And as also shown in the materials brought together here, Justice Ginsburg had a special ability to appreciate how the decisions of the high court impact the lived experiences of everyday Americans. The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020 as this book was heading into production was met with a public outpouring of grief. With her death, the country lost a hero and national treasure whose incredible life and legacy made the United States a more just society and one in which “We the People,” for whom the Constitution is written, includes everyone.
Please join us for a conversation about the Justice’s last book with Professor Tyler and Stanford Law School Professor and former Ginsburg law clerk Anne Joseph O’Connell.
Amanda L. Tyler
Amanda L. Tyler is the Shannon Cecil Turner Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Professor Tyler’s research and teaching interests include the Supreme Court, federal courts, constitutional law, legal history, civil procedure, and statutory interpretation. She is the co-author, with the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, which the University of California Press will publish in early 2021. The book is an outgrowth of Justice Ginsburg’s 2019 visit to Berkeley Law when she and Tyler sat down for a conversation about Justice Ginsburg’s life. Tyler is also the author of Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay, published in 2017 by Oxford University Press and released in paperback in 2019. Tyler has contributed to many books and published with the Atlantic, the Lawfare Blog, other media outlets, and numerous law journals. Recent articles include Courts and the Executive in Wartime: A Comparative Study of the American and British Approaches to the Internment of Citizens During World War II and Their Lessons for Today, 107 California Law Review 789 (2019); Habeas Corpus in Wartime and Larger Lessons for Constitutional Law, Harvard Law Review Online (April 2019); and A “Second Magna Carta”: The English Habeas Corpus Act and the Statutory Origins of the Habeas Privilege, 91 Notre Dame Law Review 1946 (2016). Since 2016, Professor Tyler also has served as a co-editor of Hart and Wechsler’s The Federal Courts and the Federal System (Foundation Press) (with Richard H. Fallon, Jr., Jack L. Goldsmith, John F. Manning, and David L. Shapiro). .
To view Amanda L. Tyler’s full bio, click here.
Anne Joseph O’Connell
Anne Joseph O’Connell is a lawyer and social scientist (with graduate training in economics and political science) whose research and teaching focuses on administrative law and the federal bureaucracy. Outside of the law school, she is a contributor to the Center on Regulation and Markets at the Brookings Institution and an appointed senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent federal agency dedicated to improving regulatory procedures. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration, and an elected member of the American Law Institute.
To view Anne Joseph O’Connell’s full bio, click here.