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Cornell Club of Washington

Cornell in Washington, The Cornell Club of Washington and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It was a heady year for Cornellians in 1993, especially women. Janet Reno '60 was appointed Attorney General in March and in August Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54 appointed as Associate Supreme Court Justice. Requests were made immediately to meet with Cornell in Washington students and each of them agreed to do so each semester, AG Reno from 1993 through 200l and Justice Ginsburg until 2019. At first CIW saw her alone; then with other local universities. Each time the Justice agreed to a group photo and now many are being posted on Facebook. Once, when I unintentionally scheduled the meeting with the Justice on Slope Day, several students opted to go up to Ithaca because as one explained, she "only had four chances to attend Slope Day." And how many I wondered to meet a Supreme Court Justice?

Justice Ginsburg met on September 12, 2013 with 100 members of the Cornell Club of Washington in a Conference Room. She "introduced" the former Supreme Court Justices whose portraits hung on the walls, gave a brief presentation on the workings of the Court including the collegiality of the judges, and then answered questions.

Photo by Sathi Soma '92, M.Eng. '94

On two occasions, September 24, 2015 and June 26, 2017, she met with 250 alumni and guests in the Courtroom. Only CCW members were permitted to register and our membership rose substantially and quickly (49 dues payers in 9 hours) the first time. The Justice preferred a "conversation" format for those two events, in which she answered questions from Linda Jarschauer Johnson ‘60.

More than 150 Cornellians also attended a screening of the documentary "RBG" on May 17, 2018 heard from one of the co-directors of the film, Julie Cohen, whose parents are Cornell graduates.

A long and warm relationship existed between Justice Ginsburg and Cornell in Washington undergraduates and Cornell Club of Washington alumni and all feel saddened by her loss and privileged by our connection.

Click here to read an article from 2016 on our conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2015

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