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An Evening with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

An Evening with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:00 pm

On Sunday evening, September 13, with the start of the Jewish New Year less than a week away, Spertus provided a rare opportunity for more than 900 attendees to hear Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg’s lecture, titled From Benjamin to Brandeis to Breyer: Is There a Jewish Seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?, was part of the Center for Public Dialogue at Spertus, an initiative that provides opportunities for local audiences to hear and interact with some of today’s leading thinkers. Due to an overwhelming response for tickets, the event was moved from the award-winning Michigan Avenue Spertus facility around the corner to the Merle Reskin Theater.

The Center for Public Dialogue at Spertus is made possible with support and vision from the Pritzker family, and, after brief introductory remarks by Spertus President Hal Lewis, Gigi Pritzker introduced the Justice. The audience listened reverentially as Justice Ginsburg spoke of the history of Jewish involvement on the Supreme Court and about the pride and strength she draws from her own Jewish heritage.

The Justice’s formal remarks were followed by a lively question and answer session, with provocative questions asked by participants in the front row, the top balcony, and everywhere in between. Topics ranged from the importance of impartiality to the future of Roe vs. Wade. Justice Ginsburg’s responses were considered and insightful. She sited past decisions in detail and added a few grace notes of humor. Those in the audience clearly felt privileged to have this opportunity to hear her speak and honored that she serves on our behalf, with intelligence and farsightedness, on our nation’s highest court.


Presented by the Spertus Center for Public Dialogue on Issues of the Day