tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg December 23, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
>> from our studios in new york, this is "charlie rose." welcome to the program. we begin with two supreme court
justices and conversation at the new york bar association. ginsburg to ruth bader and sonia soto mayor. myself as a of teacher. my parents but teaching would be a good occupation from me. they were not welcome as doctors and lawyers. realize i was facing an
audience that did not know what i was talking about. time thoughthat law was riddled with gender-based distinctions but they operated the nine lane
in women's favor. a woman didn't have to serve on a jury pick if she did not want to. so that was a benefit. >> the he's dropping reflected curiosity. is what drew me. charlie: a rear conversation and ruth bader ginsburg sotymor.s justice sonia >> let me take note of the fact
they have both written books. my beloved world. my own words.rg, a compilation of speeches she has written. i want to start with this. life,g back on your justice ginsburg, thinking even though it was incorporated in speeches, what was that like for life andut your own focus? >> my own word is a collection of speeches, bench announcements, tributes to colleagues. of may toa biography the extent that my life is told. it is in the introductory passages that my official biographers wrote. that biography will come out sometime in the distant future.
>> but your book, my beloved world, you said i am my mother. what did you mean? >> as i tell her, good and bad. i am my mother's child. she aspired to be more than her circumstances. she wanted to go to college. she lived in the poorest circumstances. she would watch the college girls walked by her house, going to the post office. that was the center of the town. all she dreamt about was someday going to college. id getting my brother and
into college was her living her dream. she wanted me to be a journalist. i don't think she was ever convinced there was value in the law. perhaps when i got on the supreme court she might have changed her mind. [laughter] but i lived that dream for her. dreamslived all of her because she set the example for me of striving to do better, to try to be the best person i humanly could be. that is how my mother lives her life. i try to emulate all of those things in my mother that are the best. when i do the things that are bad i remind her that that is the problem with being a little duc you copy everything. k, charlie: you once said listening on on conversations --
it was an important aspect of growing up for you. justice sotomayor: who doesn't like to ease drop? the eavesdropping reflected curiosity. i think that is what drove me as a lawyer. , being atell people lawyer is like being a voyeur and other people's lives. you participate a little more than lawyers do. but you get to learn about how people are an industry or a government industry -- government entity interacts, and what is important to them. enjoy that process, i think you have to have curiosity. listening to others in their conversations was a way of teaching myself things that i would not have otherwise learned. charlie: when did you fall in
love with the law? people ginsburg: sometimes ask me, did you always , a supremea judge court justice. when i think of what life was city in the 1940's, would not be there while the to be a judge. there simply weren't any. franklin delano roosevelt appointed the first woman to a in 1934.ppellate court down the year i graduated from law school in 1959, and then there were none. johnson appointed charlie hofstadter.
she became the first ever secretary of education. and then there were none, again. being adn't think about judge until jimmy carter became president of the united states. he looked around at the federal bench and said you know, they all look like me. [laughter] that is not how the united states looks. he was determined to appoint members of minority groups, and , not as one ats a time curiosities. he appointed over 25 women to the federal district court, the trial bench, and 11 to courts of appeals. lucky 11.of those no president ever went back to the way it was.
president reagan didn't want to be outdone. he made it a nationwide search for the first woman. charlie: sandra day o'connor. 4 and it was a -- justice ginsburg: and it was a brilliant choice. charlie: you have said when she left the court it marked a change. because she was gone. justice ginsburg: i have said more than once that the term that she loved, whenever the court provided fire for her, i was one of the four, i would have been one of the five if she remained with us. there was that an enormous difference. my question going back to both of you have been influenced by people, your husband, your late husband had a huge influence. justice ginsburg: yes. charlie: you have said to me you would not have made it to the supreme court without him.
justice ginsburg: no question about it. the time said ruth would have been on a list. 23.e she would be 22 or marty made her number one. >> how did he do that? >> he had a little book of people he contacted. [laughter] mainly mynsburg: academic colleagues in those days. i was teaching. this was before my first good job in d.c.. he got in touch with academic colleagues. he had many letters sent to the president. ,he most important thing of all
and this was almost out of the rabbi, my guide was senator moynahan. how did that come about? wasas a connection marty pleased to have but it didn't come through them. the president was on a plane with senator moynahan going to some democratic function and said please tell me, who would you pick? for the supreme court? said i'm not a lawyer, so you shouldn't ask me that question. the president said i value your judgment. who would you pick? ginsburg.th bader why? griswold, the
longtime dean of harvard law school thinks she is very good. i could not have a harvard law degree because i did not stay there for my third year. so many chance things occur and you don't know if they will turn out to be good or bad. this was certainly good. there was a celebration at the court of the 50th anniversary of the building. it was completed in 1935. this was 1985. dean griswold was solicitor general. he was to make a speech about great advocates before the court. he realizes that he men.t have a list with all after he finishes his with thurgood marshall, the next person he mentions his ruth
bader ginsburg. when i wentmayor: for my nomination process, i was told everyone should have had a marty ginsburg. [laughter] he apparently came into the preparation session with folders including all of ruth's speeches , her entire schedule for her filledlife, and binders with information. justice ginsburg: that part the purpose reported inaccurately. taxes no problem with the or the babysitter. marty was a tax lawyer. [laughter] but in our home, our personal life, i did all of the taxes. [laughter] [applause]
and guess who did all of the cooking. when all theurg: presidents men, and there were only men, they descended into my apartment, marty made a delicious lunch for everybody. [laughter] it was at one point, he would do the special occasions and you would do dinners for the kids during the weekdays. finally your daughter said maybe you should just give that up too. justice ginsburg: in fact, my daughter, who was an excellent cook herself, she learn from a master, i was the everyday cook. i had seven things that i made. [laughter] when i got to number seven we went back to number one. they all came out of the 60 minute chef. no more than 60 minutes from
when you walked in the door until it was on the table. marty would never allow me to cook for company. he was the weekend cook. my daughter and her high school years realized daddies cooking -- daddy's cooking was better than mommy's, and mommy should be phased out of the kitchen. my wonderful daughter comes once a month. she cooks for me. she fills the freezer with individual dinners. she feels responsible for getting me out of the kitchen and doesn't think i should go back and it. [laughter] justice sotomayor: the supreme court refrigerator is filled with some of the leftovers. the bestwhat is experience for a supreme court justice? justice sotomayor: interesting
question. charlie: tell me. justice sotomayor: well, i am biased. being on the district court, since all of my colleagues have only had court of appeals experience, except for a elena and there have been three supreme court justices in the history of the court with this experience, i find it hard to understand how you can really case ifte the life of a you haven't really sat in the courtroom to see that case develop, to understand the dynamics that create a record. that create the discussions that end up coming before the court on appellate review. my judgment if i were ever privileged to be asked by a president what should he or she
look for, i would say someone with district court experience. charlie: doing that you see not only the case, but you see the stories? justice sotomayor: the stories of the people. justice ginsburg: it helps to be a lawyer who knows the stories. who probably knows more about the case than the district judge. charlie: oh! [laughter] charlie: we have a debate going. i started outrg: my life in the law. as a clerk to a district judge. clerk in new york for two years. 59-61. justice sotomayor: do you see appellate practice as being the same as trial practice?
accepting your premise, which is being a lawyer is critical. there is a difference between trial and appellate lawyers. justice ginsburg: there is an enormous difference. the trial level it is to build a record. justice sotomayor: and to know how difficult that can be. justice ginsburg: yes. charlie: when you decide cases, do you think about -- are you looking in saying we have to do what the law tells us? looking at precedent, looking at the constitution. do you say to yourselves what is going to be the impact on people , these decisions that we make? justice ginsburg: i think those are harmonious. when the constitution says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws, the constitution tells us to think
about the individual. and the right of individual h as. charlie: but it is not an abstract. it is a reality in terms -- justice sotomayor: it is inescapable for us to be aware of the impact of our decisions. we are receiving briefs. friends of the court briefs. ofm virtually every impact society. we can't the side the big issue case. so that is inescapable part of our work. talking more
fundamentally, which is withouty you can't rule at least understanding what the consequences will be of your ruling. not just in terms of the law, but because the law is responsible for human developments. you have to know what is going to happen more broadly to be able to understand the choices you are making. 4 there are some cases -- justice ginsburg: there are some cases when the law is clear and certain. but you have to be a certain age to run for office. that is not the case that we get. the special thing about the supreme court is for the most part we don't take cases where everybody agrees. splits.for other judges disagreeing about
what the federal law is. what it means in a particular context. the wonderful and put that we have, we have the benefit of what other good mines on benches, state and federal have said about it. charlie: the interesting thing higher place that it can go. if you are on the supreme court the boo buck stops here. you are making the final decision. justice ginsburg: and not you. the court is. tony wasict judge, talking about, they are the real power holders in the system. they sit alone in the courtroom. you can't get out. you are stuck with that judge on
i had a fantastic fortune in lawyerwas alive and a when the women's movement was revived in this country. 70's,e were saying in the successfully winning case after case, the same thing women have said ever since abigail adams and before, society wasn't prepared to listen in the 70's, society had already moved. the changes in the law were catching up to the changes that had already occurred in people's lives. to be able to advocate for that cause, to see results that could not have been achieved even in the 1960's was a fantastic opportunity, totally
exhilarating, also exhausting. those ifs that you wrote, those decisions you influence, your proudest achievement of your life? yes.ce ginsburg: i would say yes. i thought of myself in those days as a teacher. my parents thought teaching would be a good occupation for me. women were welcome there. a world welcome as doctors, lawyers and engineers. i was facing an audience who didn't know what i was talking about. they understood race discrimination. that was odious. time thoughthat that the law was riddled with
gender-based distinctions. benignly andated women's favor. it woman didn't have to serve on a jury of she did not want to. so that was a benefit. to get them to see that says something about a woman as a citizen. a citizen has rights and obligations. they are ant essential part of the citizenry because they can't escape civic duty. women are expendable. we really don't need them. message,ross that there was this pedestal that many men thought women were on, they were spared the necessity to earn a living. that was a myth. it was never true for poor women. that whatm to see
they regarded as favors, and the wonderful expression justice brennan used, the pedestal turned out to be a cage because it can find women -- confined women and limited what they could do. to get the court to understand there was discrimination, that was a challenging job. justice sotomayor: i was just as groundbreaking as your work as a litigator was, will live on abg lot longer. [laughter] [applause] what do you think of that? justice ginsburg: i think it is
absolutely amazing. be83-year-old woman should notorious. but i understand where it comes from. famous rapper, notorious b.i.g.. both born and bred in brooklyn. [applause] nyu' think that the students who dreamed up this bg, it started with the decision that took the heart out of the voting rights act of 1965. she was angry. then she thought that is not a productive emotion. i want to do something positive. in thek my dissent
shelby county case and that was notoriousing of the rbg. charlie: you are a role model to many. had you see that? veryupreme court may be , to see howo have well a latina woman sees this world. justice sotomayor: earlier we were in conversation with your editor. your book editor. when i talking about embarked on writing my book i asked my editor, what makes a great memoir? and my editor and yours as well have said the identical thing. honesty. readers can read and feel
when truth is being spoken, or when it is a put on that is not to be believed or accepted. tothe extent that i continue try to live my life as a normal , and with an honesty that i define as valuable, trying to and a justice, not that you are not, then i think i give people hope about being able to achieve the things they want to achieve, even though they might perceive it themselves with limitations society has otherwise imposing on them.
so -- charlie: you too can dream your dreams. >> yes. you don't have to let the limitations or the ones you feel yourself disable you. both trying and potentially achieving. perceive my role to be. to continue being as much sonya as i can be. so those who have lived live somewhat to the one i have can have hope. charlie: and feel they are part of the american life. justice sotomayor: im. -- i am. they can be too. [applause] justice ginsburg: there was a line i used in the introduction to the book about five jewish
justices. the question was what is the bookkeeperbetween a in the garment district and a supreme court justice? my answer was one generation. the difference between the opportunities open to my mother and those open to me. charlie: one generation. it was an important generation. charlie: i once asked you, you are often called the thurgood marshall of the women's movement. , that is aid to me comparison you reject because? justice ginsburg: when thurgood marshall went into a town in the in the morning he didn't know whether he would be alive at the end of the day.
i recommend everybody a book ve."ed "devil in the gro look at what those lawyers were up against. whether he didn't know he would live to see another day. that was something i never encountered. my life was never in danger. that was an enormous difference. as far as technique, i copied his technique. [laughter] he was a great lawyer. he led the court to get to brown board.d -- brown v. they knew they had to have some legal training for
african-americans. they said that this vastly inferior law school. when he had his building blocks in place and made the big pitch, program,women's rights that is what we tried to do to get there. thatn one giant step, so by the time the big step came it would be inevitable. all the building blocks. justice sotomayor: do you think you have reached that stage? justice ginsburg: no. but considering where we were, considering that in 1961, the liberal warren court told the woman weolt, would call battered, who had been humiliated to the breaking point by her philandering
couldn'tusband, she bear it anymore. ,he spied her sons baseball bat she beat her husband over the head. that was the end of the humiliation. florida didn't put women on juries in those days. 1961. the supreme court said we don't understand what this complaint is about. any woman who wants to serve can go to the clerk's office and sign up. if she doesn't sign up she is not going to be called. if there were women on my jury, perhaps they wouldn't acquit me, but there's a good chance they would have convicted me of the lesser offense of manslaughter and not murder. she was convicted of murder by
an all-male jury. the warren court thought that was ok. as 1961. the change did not come until the burger court, the had a reputation for being conservative. brought down one federal law after another, on the ground that they discriminated against arbitrarily on the basis of gender. charlie: what does that say about the way the court works? and time? there was aburg: great constitutional law professor who said the court should never be influenced by the weather of the day. but inevitably it will be
influenced by the climate of the era. that is what the core of the 70's was influenced by. charlie: is that what the court of the 21st century has been with respect to marriage equality and same sex marriage? influenced by what was happening in the larger community? the climate. justice sotomayor: i'm wondering whether i should answer at all. say -- ginsburg: i will [laughter] justice sotomayor: she gets more cover than i do. charlie: that is an interesting question in itself. meaning? she is given more what? latitude? justice sotomayor: i think so and rightfully so. she has learned it. she has fully earned it.
justice ginsburg: it is only because i am old enough to be her mother. [laughter] justice ginsburg: but i will say happened.about what when i was growing up, people who were not heterosexual were in the closet. they did not reveal who they were. time iner the first this very space, there was a in a new york city bar about the problems gay and lesbian people encountered. things like renting a house, finding a dentist. i was on the education committee. one member of the committee
would sponsor every program. no one volunteered to sponsor a program gay activists alliance asked to have a the city bar just to explain the programs -- problems they encountered. , i was the only woman on the committee. do you think they will feel comfortable dealing with a woman? what makes you think the gay activist alliance is composed only of men? the truth was they sent their vice president who happen to be a woman, as one of the people to speak. think is people came out of the closet. people stood up and said this is who i am and i am proud of it.
who were they? our next-door neighbors. our child's best friend. maybe even our child. when that happened there was no we-theyhe same difference. they were part of way. these were people we loved, that we worked with. that was something that gave impotence to the gay rights movement that was much harder with racial discrimination. live inended to neighborhoods that were either all wider all african-american. there was that since -- sense and once people stood up said this is who i am, that made an enormous difference. justice sotomayor: if you count
the decades from plessy versus it ason, excepting compatible with the 14th amendment, to brown versus board of education, it was over 50 years. long to lift societal expectations about what true equality had to mean. i think ruth is pointing to the society thathave a begins to think about notions differently with experience. , thoseperience experiences teach society, and yes at times justices. charlie: is there a bond amongst in the justices who are women? justice ginsburg: there's a special pride that i have in my newest colleagues.
the old nursery rhyme, what are little girls made of, sugar, spice, and everything nice? mades the little girls are of. all of you who have visited kn supreme court no mind -- ow my newest colleagues are not shrinking violets. they take a very active part in the colloquy that goes on in the oral arguments. i may takeomayor: if the liberty of relating a story, the day our newest colleague was sworn in, the president as is customary was there and came in to greet all of the justices. he got to justice ginsburg and said something like justice
charlie: there are only eight now. justice ginsburg: it is not a good number for a supreme court. charlie: and you hope that this after the election, that there will be a consideration by the senate before the new president takes office? we hope thereyor: will be nine as quickly as possible. we function as nine. justice ginsburg: i thought we did remarkably well last term when there were only three cases
that could not be decided because there was an even division. but they were importing cases. it means uncertainty will continue on those issues until there are nine. me,lie: you have said to you missed justice scalia. justice breyer was on with me in new york last week and he said i miss the spirit of justice scalia and the debates with justice scalia. i am sure you feel the same way. justice sotomayor: he made us laugh. charlie: that is what it was. justice sotomayor: and he made us think. he challenged us to think. are ingredients for interesting conversation, and for lively discussion. me you: you once said to
both loved opera. he could sing better than you. justice ginsburg: i can't sing at all. charlie: but they are writing lines for you and the opera that you will perform in when? justice ginsburg: november 12. it is a speaking part. [laughter] opera.s an scalia ginsburg. it is a comic opera of course. composer, he tried to stay in and a nutshell what is the difference between the two of us? rage as with scalia's ria. the rage aria is this. the justices are blind. thisan they possibly spout
? the constitution says absolutely nothing about this. he is searching for bright solutions to problems that don't have easy answers. the great thing about our constitution is that like our society, it can evolve. -- hat sets up then we have a wonderful duet at the end. [laughter] we are difference, we are one. different in the way we approach the interpretation of legal text , but one in our reverence for the constitution and the court. charlie: one thing justice scalia said, it probably wasn't the best idea that how many supreme court justices came from harvard or yale. that wasn't necessarily a good
idea for the supreme court. do you agree with that? and most of them had judicial experience at court of appeals level. justice sotomayor: i thought she didn't think that. charlie: didn't you say something like it? regardless of whether he said it or not. [laughter] justice sotomayor: i will give you that. jail, and ruth spends part of her time at harvard -- justice ginsburg: columbia has had a lot of great justices. charlie: you got your degree from columbia in a store you and i have talked about. when you switch to columbia from harvard for your third year, harvard would not give you a degree. you got a degree from columbia. said i ginsburg: they ha had to stay for the third year. charlie: your husband was moving to new york. justice ginsburg: yes.
i did not want to be a single mom. there were two things. marty had been diagnosed with a severe cancer. we did not know how long he was going to live, we didn't want to be a part that year. i didn't want to be a single mom to my three-year-old daughter. so i asked the dean if i successfully complete my education at columbia, well i get a harvard degree? absolutely not. you have to spend a third year here. i had taken the first year of law school. she transferred into her second year class. dean, she will have year two and three and you're going to give her a degree? the first year is the most important.
two.e one and thelie: to come back to point, what is lovely about this they then wanted to give you a degree to the law school. justice ginsburg: that is when my now colleague, when she became dean. every year she said ruth, we would like you to have a harvard law school degree. out fornd said hold an honorary degree. charlie: and they gave it to you. justice ginsburg: sadly one year after he died. charlie: there is a picture in your chambers of you receiving that in your crimson. one of your heroes singing to you. justice ginsburg: being serenaded. can you imagine? has labeled the photograph woman and ecstasy. justice sotomayor: i said just
recently, there is no way the supreme court could ever be reflective of the society in terms of experiences. in part because we are appointed for life. that means that a change fundamental in the court take a very long time to occur. so we are never going to be keel with on an even the experiences of the society. another -- in terms of ethnicity or gender. i do worry about in terms of the lack of professional and life experience diversity that our court has. i say that despite being a
little bit different than my colleagues and some of my experiences in my life. justice thomason i came from backgrounds, somewhat dissimilar from our colleagues. breath of have the the experiences to the law. we have no criminal defense lawyers on our courts. we have one civil rights lawyer. are so many other incredibly important civil , wets issues out there" have there a few practitioners with small and medium-sized practice experience. fromve very few people geographical differences in the united states. as you noted, very little in terms of religious differences,
and even less in terms of educational experiences. that is a lot of areas where we don't reflect the general society. do i think it does harm to our judging? not necessarily. it does harm to the court's reflection of attempting to be broader in its outreach to people. charlie: it is great to have two new yorkers back home. ♪
♪ yousef: welcome to the "best of bloomberg markets middle east." i'm yousef gamal el-din. the major stories driving headlines from the region's -- region. the world bank approved a new loan to egypt worth $1 billion. it is the second of three and it will create thousands of new jobs. we spoke with investment manager of the implications for markets. the interview is coming up. months of cheap oil is forcing many to consolidate. this week, three banks in qatar announced that they are in initial talks for a merger and weil
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