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Friday, October 19, 2012

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Delivers Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights at Yale Law School

It was a bright start to a rainy Alumni Weekend 2012 as Yale Law School welcomed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the inaugural Gruber Distinguished Lecturer in Women’s Rights on Friday, Oct. 19. Justice Ginsburg took part in two events in the afternoon, the first a panel discussion celebrating her pioneering work to end gender stereotyping and discrimination and establish gender equality.

The panel, discussing “Equality’s Frontiers,” consisted of Professor Cary Franklin of the University of Texas School of Law; Professor Melissa Murray of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale University; Professor Kenji Yoshino of the New York University School of Law; and Professors Judith Resnik and Reva Siegel of Yale Law School. The panelists shared their thoughts on a variety of Justice Ginsburg’s cases related to sex discrimination, same-sex marriage, litigation as a source of equality, and reproductive rights, and they paid tribute to the Justice described by Professor Yoshino as “the founding father of sex equality jurisprudence.” Following each panelist’s presentation, Justice Ginsburg gave a brief response.

When the panel discussion concluded, the Justice adjourned to Battell Chapel to take part in a conversation with Linda Greenhouse ’78 MSL, the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law. Yale Law School Dean Robert Post ’77 delivered welcoming remarks, first thanking Patricia and Peter Gruber, “two inspired philanthropists and champions of justice,” for their efforts in establishing the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School.

“Our program stands as a tribute to Peter and Pat Gruber and their extraordinary dedication to using law to improve the status of women throughout the world.”

Dean Post then harkened back to 1978 in introducing Justice Ginsburg and Linda Greenhouse, the year, he said, that Greenhouse began her “incredible three decades covering the Supreme Court for The New York Times” and the year Justice Ginsburg argued her final case as an advocate before the Supreme Court. In 1993, Justice Ginsburg took a seat on that Court, its 107th justice and the second woman ever to serve.