Like everyone else, I’m saddened at the passing of Justice Ginsburg — another giant of the law. Every year, my Civil Procedure syllabus opens with this observation from “RBG”: “You can have all the rights in the world, but if you can’t enforce them, they aren’t worth very much.” It is hard to find a better statement of what Civil Procedure is really about.
Although I did not know her well, I remember fondly Justice Ginsburg’s kindness to the Alito clerks. One afternoon she invited us over for a cupcake and a chat — complete with her reflections on her friendship with Judge Robert Bork. She was funny. And very smart.
Over the next few days, there will be much discussion about Justice Ginsburg’s tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court and as her pre-judiciary life as a world-class litigator. But I would like to observe her important contributions to the D.C. Circuit. Perhaps the best person to tell that story is Justice Scalia. With appreciation to the D.C. Circuit Historical Society, we have Scalia’s remarks from her portrait hanging. Here is some of what he said (but really, you should read the entire transcript):
And this (I added the highlight — wow):
And this too:
Judge Edwards offered additional thoughts that are well worth your time:
And again, this too:
That story says a lot about Justice Ginsburg. May she rest in peace.