Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's & et al My Own Words
Four out of five stars
Of all the current members of the United States Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is certainly the most colorful. Considered the most liberal member of the court, she is both a hero and a villain for her consistent and generally outspoken positions on the law and society. So much so that she has had to backtrack some of her statements, specifically one she made about her possible reaction to the results of the 2016 U. S. presidential election.
The book being summarized is billed as primarily a collection of Ginsburg’s writings and speeches, although there is some biographical information as well. The opening overview is a very brief biography. While there are a few short quotes from Ginsburg in the key takeaways, the near total emphasis is on the personal and professional life of Ginsburg and the role she has played in advancing the law.
The key takeaways are:
*) Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been inspired by path-breaking women and Jews in the law.
*) Ginsburg was elevated to the Supreme Court with broad support from both parties.
*) Collegiality is vital to maintain respect for and efficiency of the law.
*) Gender discrimination violates women’s rights under the Constitution.
*) Cases protecting men from gender discrimination were central to developing gender protection for women under law.
*) Dissenting opinions, when used with care, serve a vital function in the judicial system.
*) Foreign law can be a useful reference and example for US lawmakers.
*) Ginsburg is a lifelong lover of opera.
From these takeaways, it appears that this is a book about Ginsburg’s achievements and role in the law and not about what she has said. There is some recovery from this point in the “Author’s Style” section, where opening sentence is:
“’My Own Words’ is a collection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s essays, lectures, speeches, and opinions linked with biographical details and explanatory text from Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams.”
However, from this summary it seems that the emphasis is on the explanatory text of Hartnett and Williams. That makes it weaker than it could have been.