tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC September 23, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PDT
voted against donald trump's nominee. one last note, we learned tomorrow, mika, president trump will visit the supreme court to pay his respect to the late justice ruth bader ginsburg. >> all right, that does it
for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it's wednesday, september 23rd, and this morning we are honoring the life of supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. in just about 30 minutes from now, her body will be brought to the supreme court where she worked for the last 27 years of her extraordinary life. a private ceremony will be held and then her casket will be brought to the top of the court steps where the public will be allowed to pay their respects. of course all of this is happening at the very same time president trump and republicans are pushing ahead with confirming ginsburg's replacement. president trump says he will make the nomination official this saturday. we're covering all the angles of
this important story. garrett haake on capitol hill, peter alexander at the white house, and geoff bennett at the supreme court. let's take you right there. geoff, tell us what's going to happen today. >> hey, steph, good morning. well,
this morning kicks off three days of formal events marking the passing of the late justice ruth bader ginsburg. both here at the u.s. supreme court and across the street at the u.s. capitol. in about 25 minutes time we expect a hearse to arrive on the street here behind me and her casket will be met by an army of her former law clerks who will carry her casket up the stone steps of the supreme court into the great hall and there will be a private ceremony starting at around 9:30 eastern for family, friends, supreme court staff members and justices themselves. once that ceremony concludes, her casket will be brought out and it will remain atop the steps of the portico there just in front of the supreme court so the public can then pay their respects according to all of the
pandemic precautions to which we've all become accustomed. all morning, steph, we've been seeing people line up on the other side of the court so they can eventually proceed in front to pay their respects and people here across the straight waiting for the hearse to arrive as the events are set to transpire momentarily, steph. >> peter, we know justice ginsburg's replacement will be announced by president trump on saturday. where do we stand in terms of knowing who it's going to be? >> well, in terms of the president's process right now, we have now heard from the white house that the president will pay his respects to the late justice ruth bader ginsburg tomorrow at the supreme court. i'm told he'll be joined by the first lady, melania trump. of course even as he pays his respects, he's not respecting the final wishes of ruth bader ginsburg who dictated to her own granddaughter just before her passing that she would like the next president to replace her. so in other words the replacement not to be named until after that next president
installed. the president, nonetheless, moving forward with this tight timeline hoping to accomplish this before the election as he has indicated. we know that he has met once with amy coney barrett. she's a favorite among social conservatives. 48 years old and a mother of seven right now. there has been a big push among the evangelical community that she be the president's choice. she was a finalist the last time around. there were some discussions initially that the president might meet with barbara lagoa, a cuban american from florida, the first hispanic name to the florida state supreme court, that he might meet with her when he is there near her hometown of miami on friday. i'm told by the chief of staff to the president, mark meadows, that there will be no meeting there with lagoa. no one here at the white house is ruling out additional meetings with potential candidates but they say if they take place, they will happen here in washington. stephanie. >> garrett, once this announcement is made, what's the
timeline going forward? >> reporter: republicans want to move as quickly as they can and that probably means we'll see confirmation hearings sometime in the first or second week of october. that would give mitch mcconnell enough time to take the vote from that confirmation hearing, that positive recommendation that we expect will come out of this republican-controlled panel, and bring a vote to the floor sometime in late october, possibly try to get this done by halloween, give a few days between then and the end of election day november 3rd. so this is all on a very tight timetable. it is possible to move that fast but republicans will need essentially everything to go their way, starting with the announcement by the president on saturday of who he's actually going to pick. by the way, when i'm talking about first or second week of october for that confirmation hearing, keep an eye on october 7th. that's a thursday. that's the day of the vp debate. if riepublicans want to see rea hard ball here, don't be
surprised to see where kamala harris who sits on the judiciary committee would have to wear two hats. >> we can save october for october, but right now let's talk about supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. i want to bring in a very special guest, vermont democratic senator patrick leahy. he's a member of the judiciary committee, former chairman of that committee and the longest serving member currently in the senate. senator, thank you so much for joining us. you voted to confirm justice ginsburg in 1993. >> i did. >> and earlier this week you said it was one of the most consequential and impactful votes of your entire career. tell us why. >> well, you know, i'm a lawyer, i've argued cases before federal courts of appeals, state courts of appeal, and i recognized a judge who has the abilities to do the things they should. justice ginsburg was all of that. it's interesting, you look at the pictures you show of her and
her size. she was a giant. i look at when even her dissents in the lily ledbetter case, her powerful dissent saying women must be given equal rights in the workplace, that led to the drafting and passing of the lily ledbetter law. and i was proud to write that law, but i was also proud of the number of senators who came and joined it because of ruth bader ginsburg. >> lily ledbetter will be joining us later in the hour to talk about those extraordinary times. i want to play something republican senator, mitt romney, someone you know very well, said yesterday after he announced he would support a vote on the nominee. >> i recognize that we -- we may have a court which has more of a
conservative bent than it's had over the last few decades. but my liberal friends have over many decades gotten very used to the idea of having a liberal court. and that's not written in the stars. >> it is true that this next justice could move the court sharply to the right, but isn't that the way the system was set up? >> no. i think what the system was set up to have the supreme court be objective and not bound to partisan politics. but look what the president is doing. i mean it's a disgrace. he says he's going there to pay respects to justice ginsburg. he's showing no respect to her at all. even while she's lying in state, he says he's going to make a political announcement, he's picking saturday. he made it very clear he thought his ratings would be higher. at least wait until the woman is buried next week before you do that. than turn it into a political toy. and the reason they have, they
figure they can get one vote to overturn roe versus wade. they think that they can overturn the affordable care act if they have just one more vote on the supreme court. they're going to have an argument on that in the next few days. and look what that means. here we are in the midst of a covid crisis where the administration has dropped the ball terribly and yet they want to get somebody on there so they can do away with the affordable care act, do away with coverage for pre-existing conditions, do away with coverage of those people who are being harmed by covid. i mean the whole thing -- i think the way they're doing this, rushing it through, of course we could have a nominee to fill the place, but to rush it this way, to make it totally political, that is going to demean the supreme court and all of the federal court systems.
i know when i used to argue cases before federal courts and courts of appeals, i never looked at the judges and said, well, that's a republican or that's a democrat. i assumed they're going to base it on the facts or the law. but donald trump is saying we can only have judges that do what donald trump wants. it's going to take a generation to get over that. >> imagine, imagine if we had such a swift and coordinated response to covid as the president has had to finding the next nominee. back in 1993, ginsburg was confirmed 96-3. justice scalia, one of the most conservative justices confirmed unanimously back in 1986. you were among those who voted for him. now that we have a senate that is lining up for their side without even knowing who the nominee is, are the days of crossing the aisle something we're not going to see for
another generation? >> if we don't see it, then i think the senate will end up being as damaged as the supreme court is being damaged by this. look at when they stopped merrick garland. you had statements by mitch mcconnell, lindsey graham that we can't do -- we can't do this just nine months before an election. but we can do it nine days or nine weeks before an election if it's a republican. it has destroyed a lot of the credibility of the senate. the senate should be the conscience of the nation. it's being anything but. what they could have done is said, look, let's wait until the election and on january 20th, whether it's donald trump or joe biden is president, let them name a person they want to go on the supreme court. i think the american people would take some comfort in that
and know that we're actually following a precedent and not making a partisan tool of the supreme court. as a lawyer, as one who's argued cases before courts of appeals, our own supreme court at home, i just can't think of anything that is doing more damage handling this as a complete political talking point for donald trump re-election. i can't think of anything that is damaging -- so damaging to the supreme court. and i voted for both republican justices and democratic justices, but we followed the procedure. we had honest hearings. we had people who showed some promise. >> well, we've got to come together. yes? >> i hope so. and ruth ginsburg, my wife and i
thought the world of her. we went to operas with her. she had a wicked sense of humor. she would quietly say something and i would sort of spin around and say did you say that? she'd say, oh, patrick, did you take it that way? and of course i took it exactly the way she meant. it's going to be a long time before we see somebody the equal of her. >> senator, it's because she was a new yorker. thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> and thank you for sharing some personal anecdotes, senator patrick leahy. any minute now the body of justice ruth bader ginsburg will arrive at the supreme court. my colleagues hallie jackson and andrea mitchell will join us for the special coverage of the ceremony honoring her extraordinary life and legacy. but up next, a potential game-changing vaccine
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now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. here are the facts at this hour. at 10:00 a.m. we will hear from the top u.s. health officials on the government's ongoing response to covid-19. dr. anthony fauci will join leaders of the fda and cdc to testify before the senate health committee. it is expected to be the last time before the election we'll get to hear from them under oath. this morning the first coronavirus vaccine that aims to protect people with a single shot has entered its final stages of testing here in the u.s. it's being developed by johnson & johnson and will recruit up to 60,000 participants. at the very same time the fda is reportedly set to announce tougher standards for an emergency vaccine, making it very unlikely one will be approved before or anywhere near election day. the guidance is part of an
effort to boost transparency and improve public trust. nationwide 17 states have seen a rise in covid-19 cases over the last two weeks with the total number of cases now surpassing 6.9 million while more than 202,000 americans have lost their lives. joining us now is infectious disease expert dr. william hazeltine. doctor, how encouraged are you by this johnson & johnson single shot vaccine announcement now entering its final stages of testing? >> i'm cautious. first of all, i think we should congratulate all the four companies that revealed their protocols. that's something that's unprecedented and it's helpful. but what they revealed is very disturbing. first of all, these vaccines do not intend to prevent infection, do not intend to prevent serious disease and do not intend to spare us from death. what they do propose is to have a modest effect, 50%, 60%,
sometimes a little higher than that on mild disease. another very disturbing aspect of these is how small the number of people are required before they will bring these for consideration for emergency use authorization. that number in some cases is as small as 15 to 70. the largest number is 58 to 40. these are very small numbers for hundreds of millions of people who may receive the vaccine. there is no silver bullet in the immediate future for us. there have to be serious public health measures, improved public health measures, because these vaccines are not going to do the job according to their own protocols. they're not even being asked to do the right job. >> there's also another catch. it's around will people even be willing to take it. back in may, 72% of americans said they would get a vaccine. today that is down to 51%.
have the cdc and the president, who has spread so much disinformation and the cdc that's caused so much confusion that many americans are simply saying i'm not going to get vaccinated, i can't trust the system. >> you know, i think this is a real tragedy because it may affect other vaccines as well. vaccination is a critical part of global and u.s. public health and everybody should be encouraged to take the approved vaccines. but i think we have witnessed both the administration and national institutes of health, the cdc and the fda try to bend the rules to get speed. we understand the need for speed. but if you make missteps, as has been done for things like convalescent anti-serum, things like hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, you get the public to be suspicious of what you're doing. and these vaccine trials are
obviously when you read them written not to provide assurance that the vaccine will be effective in preventing what people really care about, infection, serious disease and death. they're intended to get approved. that is a very dangerous thing to do from a public health perspective. and we should have learned that rushing things through, like we've done for a silver bullet, isn't the right answer. public health is the right answer if properly done. >> public health is the right answer. dr. haseltine, thank you for joining us and always bringing us your expertise. we're going to leave it there. when we come back, i'll be joined by our colleagues andrea mitchell and hallie jackson for special coverage honoring the extraordinary life and legacy of justice ruth bader begins. ♪ ♪
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welcome back and good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle back with you for msnbc's special coverage of a ceremony that is about to begin to honor the life and legacy of supreme court icon and trail blazer ruth bader ginsburg. >> and i'm hallie jackson in washington where any minute justice ginsburg's casket will alive at the supreme court. we will bring you live coverage of the ceremony inside the great hall there, the place the late justice served for more than 27 years after becoming just the second woman to be appointed to
the country's highest court. her former law clerks will serve as honorary pall bearers. we're expected to hear remarks as well from chief justice john roberts. >> ginsburg's colleagues on the court, family and close friends will all be there. the justice will then lie in repose on top of the front of the steps of the court so the public can come pay their respects. hallie, you just reported that president trump will be coming to the supreme court tomorrow? >> he will. one of the many people who will be visiting the supreme court, walking up the steps outside to be able to view and honor justice ginsburg. with us this hour, nbc news senior washington correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell, claire mccaskill, melissa murray, who serve end as a law clerk to justice sonia sotomayor, a professor of law at new york university and msnbc legal analyst and amy howe, founder of scotus blog who has
argued cases before the justices during her career. we can see on the left side of our screen here, the somber preparations for the ceremony that is about to begin. i want to bring in andrea mitchell. andrea, i had a chance to visit the supreme court last night. even then, days after ginsburg's death people were bringing flowers, bringing cards, being there to soak in the moment and to honor her. tell me what you're seeing where you are now. >> well, i'm just a few yards from where you see on the steps the police, the supreme court police officers who are going to be escorting the casket, the honorary pall bearers of course are the former clerks. and you see the supreme court staff and others here on the steps. i also saw an overflow crowd of other clerks to other justices and supreme court staff on maryland avenue just sort of perpendicular from us. the side entrance of the court. they are all dressed in black with chairs lined up and monitors because the great hall itself is not that large. you're beginning to see people come down the steps, as you can
see on your screens, and where i am is about where we are going to see -- the hearse is going to come from independence avenue, a block from her, then come along first street, which is the street that divides congress, the capitol building and the supreme court and the library of congress on this side of the street. that's where the hearse will stop and the casket will be brought out. the ceremony in the great hall is going to be brought to all of us by a pool camera provided by c-span. the space is so small i'm told not even a producer, just a camera person on that camera and just the family, very close friends and of course her current clerks and some of her former clerks, members of the court, their families. the relationships here are so close. she once said -- she wrote this for "the new york times" opinion page in 2016, that collegiality is central to our mission. and while some even when she was first nominated and confirmed
and appointed to the court, some feminist groups criticized her for not having been radical enough when she was on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, but she believed in the collegiality, that that would help create the moments where she could persuade people and that indeed she did. hallie. >> andrea, that's what you're seeing right now. can you tell us how you're feeling? justice ginsburg is someone you knew well. like you, she spent much of her career in d.c., but like you she's a new york girl. she married you and your husband, former treasury secretary alan greenspan. what do you want us to know about her? >> just how -- how much she cared about mentoring, about people who were to follow. her clerks adored her. as you see the hearse now approaching those steps where the casket is going to be brought. she really was so, you know, the brooklyn girl who went to
cornell, talked about marty ginsburg, the man she met there, the college classmate, as the first boy who ever cared about her brain and then followed him when he went into army service. she got pregnant and couldn't keep her job in the federal government, civil service job because she was pregnant. she experienced discrimination at every step of the way and fought for all the rest of us. a lot of us who grew up in a similar era some decades later really deeply appreciate it and we see that also with younger women. >> i want to bring in senator mccaskill here as we are seeing now the hearse pull up to the steps of the supreme court, those former law clerks to justice ginsburg lined up to serve as honorary pall bearers. senator, you're a former prosecutor, you were a senate in the state of missouri. i want to talk a little bit about your reflections at this moment of what justice ginsburg meant to you. >> it is surprisingly -- i guess maybe not surprisingly, very
emotional this moment. she galvanized this country in terms of the very premise of equality. there are millions of women out there that have been able to do more because of ruth bader ginsburg. and i do find it sadly ironic that a woman who stood for collegiality on the court and that was was an important part of her work, and i underline work because nobody outworked justice ginsburg. it's one of the reasons her clerks adored her is her work ethic. she didn't expect them to work any harder than she did. but the collegiality issue is so sad to me because look at the mess across the street. i mean it's the antithesis of collegiality right now. i find that incredibly depressing. she was such a nice woman. she was funny. she was real. the first time i met her i couldn't even like form words.
i was in awe. and she immediately made me feel comfortable and at home. it was terrific to be able to have the ability to reach out to her, whether it was our dinners with the women senators or other times to get that reassurance that we're all fighting for the same cause. >> you can see now her casket draped in the american flag being walked towards the steps of the supreme court. justice ginsburg had 159 clerks during her judicial career as a judge and justice during her more than 40 years of work serving the judiciary. she, when her casket arrives in the great hall, it will be placed on the catafalque, the box that lincoln's coffin, president lincoln's coffin was used when his body lay in state in the capitol rotunda back in 1865. there is so much history here. this is so much memory. we want to take a minute and just watch some of this and let this unfold. let's just listen to the sights and sounds here that we're getting.
focus has understandably been on rbg's work as a supreme court justice. you point out that we should also be talking about her career as a women's rights litigator and not just for women, for all americans to pursue justice. i remember she represented steven wiesenfeld whose wife died during childbirth and she fought to get him social security provisions that were only afforded to women so they could be home as child care providers. >> you're exactly right, stephanie. even if she had never been elevated to the court, she would have had a storied career as a women's rights litigator, truly transforming the face of american law. as you said, one of the things she did in her time at the aclu women's rights project was to challenge the many laws throughout the country that discriminated on the basis of gender. she said these laws are often intended to protect women, but in fact that protection is really more of a cage. more importantly not only did it
harm women by limiting their choices, she also noted that it harmed men too, limiting their choices as well. and steven weisenfeld is a perfect example of that. no one could understand why a man newly widowed actually wanted to raise his child, but indeed he did and justice ginsburg with her advocacy gave him the wherewithal and financial means to do so. in the process, she challenged the social security laws that positioned women as caregivers and men as bread winners and made this country more equal for everyone. >> you can see that portrait of justice ginsburg there in the great hall from 2016. and just to give you a sense of what's going to happen here, her coffin will be laid on that catafalque that was used for president lincoln back in the 1800s. you will then see a private ceremony take place inside this room. ginsburg's family, close friends, members of the court. we're told that the widow of justice scalia is in attendance, former justice kennedy is in
attendance as well. you'll hear from rabbi lauren holtzblack. her husband was a clerk of justice ginsburg. five of the ten pall bearers were currently clerking for justice ginsburg when she died last week. chief justice john roberts will also make remarks. we'll bring all of this to you live on a day when so many people are remembering what justice ginsburg meant not just to them but the country at large. for a lot of people in this room in the great hall, it is extraordinarily personal as they had these deep relationships with the justice. i want to bring in amy howe. amy, you've been talking with a lot of the clerks who used to work with justice ginsburg. i wonder if you can share some of your insights from those conversations. >> it's really been fascinating because while the justice was ali alive, there was kind of a veil over their interactions with her. there's the public perception of her as the notorious rbg. but when you saw her on the bench, she was sort of this
tiny, somewhat reserved and sometimes almost stern justice. and the picture that they paint of this warm and caring woman who was funny and really a role model and mentor to them while they were her clerks and then in the years that followed, she would follow up with them when they had health challenges. she was just over the moon if they started to date or marry each other. she worked with them when they were looking -- trying to figure out what to do for their next steps in their career. you know, they just -- they wanted to impress her they said while they were working for her, but then just sort of so valued her -- the relationship with her in the years that followed. you know, you get an entirely different picture. >> andrea, what are we expecting to hear today from justice
roberts? >> what you're going to hear from justice roberts is what she meant to the court, to america, but also to the court, to the colleagues. what was really striking was just on saturday all of them issuing statements. they were so personal. they were not pro forma. they were so meaningful. and clearanarence thomas's, the had such relationships, family relationships. there you see justice roberts in the center, clarence thomas and his wife next to him. you see the breyers who were so close. the family gatherings, i've been to birthday parties for justices and justice ginsburg was always there and especially after marty died. everyone rallied around her because they knew what a huge loss it was to lose her adored friend, partner, college and law school classmate. they fought together. in fact on one of the most important early cases that she fought as a young litigator
trying to fight for gender equality, he as a preeminent tax lawyer already was recommending that she look at the tax code and that that would help her find the way in. she discussed her strategy, which has been compared to thurgood marshall's strategy in the civil rights movement for african-americans. she would always find a way to get at the issue of women's equality through men's equality, finding a widower who had lost social security benefits or a caregiver for his parent, a single man who could not get the benefits that a woman would have enjoyed. they're about to proceed. >> blessed is god, the true judge. god has given, god has taken, praise be the name.
yea though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil, for you are with me. your rod and your staff, they comfort me. you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. you have anointed my head with oil, my cup runs over. surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and i shall dwell in the house of adonai forever. today we stand in mourning of an american hero. justice ruth bader ginsburg. in a moment, i will speak to what she meant to all of us, but first i would like to turn to her beloved family. the justice was a mother, a grandmother, and as we all know had one of the most extraordinary life partners in her beloved marty.
to each of you, to the justice's colleagues, to her law clerks and to her court family, the country mourns with you and sends you our deepest love and comfort. to be born into a world that does not see you, that does not believe in your potential, that does not give you a path for opportunity or a clear path for education and despite this to be able to see beyond the world you are in, to imagine that something can be different, that is the job of a prophet. and it is the rare prophet who not only imagines a new world but also makes that new world a reality in her lifetime. this was the brilliance and vision of justice ruth bader
ginsburg. the torah is relentless in reminding and instructing, in commanding that we never forget those who live in the shadows. those whose freedom and opportunity are not guaranteed. 36 times we are taught that we must never forget the stranger. 12 times we are told to care for the widow and the orphan. this is one of the most important commandments of the torah. it is the torah's call to action. and it is also the promise written into our constitution. as justice ginsburg said, and i quote, think back to 1787. who were we the people? they certainly weren't women. they surely weren't people held in human bondage. the genius of our constitution
is that now over more than 200 sometimes turbulent years, that we has expanded and expanded. this was justice ginsburg's life's work, to insist that the constitution deliver on its promise. that we, the people, would include all the people. she carried out that work in every chapter of her life. as an advocate arguing six times before this court for equal treatment for women and men. as a judge on the d.c. circuit and as a justice on this court. and as a path-marking role model to women and girls of all ages, who now know that no office is out of reach for their dreams, whether that is to serve in the highest court of our land or
closer to home for me as the rabbi of their community. nothing could stop justice ginsburg's unflagging devotion to this project, not even cancer. justice ginsburg -- from generation to generation, we promise to carry forward your legacy. may you rest under the wings knowing that you have tirelessly served us and this great country, the united states of america. please rise. ♪
ruth bader ginsburg, who has gone to her eternal home. merciful one, we ask that our loved one find perfect peace in your eternal embrace. may her soul be bound up in the bond of life. may she rest in peace and let us say amen. >> thank you, rabbi holtzblatt for those compelling words. jane, jim, the entire ginsburg family, on behalf of all the justices, the spouses of the justices and the entire supreme court family, i offer our heartfelt condolences on the loss of ruth bader ginsburg. that loss is widely shared, but
we know that it falls most heavily on the family. justice ginsburg's life was one of the many versions of the american dream. her father was an immigrant from odessa, her mother was born four months after her family arrived from poland. her mother later worked as a bookkeeper in brooklyn. ruth used to ask what is the difference between a bookkeeper in brooklyn and a supreme court justice? her answer, one generation. it has been said that ruth wanted to be an opera virtuoso but became a rock star instead. but she chose the law. subjected to discrimination in law school and the job market because she was a woman, ruth would grow to become the leading advocate fighting such discrimination in court. she was not an opera star, but she found her stage right behind me in our courtroom.
there she won famous victories that helped move our nation closer to equal justice under law, to the extent that women are now a majority in law schools, not simply a handful. bench, where she sat for 27 years. her 483 majority concurring and dissenting opinions will steer the court for decades. they are written with the unaffected grace of precision. her voice in court and in our conference room was soft, but when she spoke, people listened. among the words that best describe ruth, tough, brave, a fighter, a winner. but also thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest. when it came to opera, insightful, passionate, when it came to sports, clueless.
justice ginsburg had many virtues of her own, but she also unavoidedly promoted one particular one, humility in others. for example, on more than a few occasions, someone would approach or call me and describe some upcoming occasion or event that was important to them. and i knew what was coming. could i come and speak? but, no, instead, could i pass along an invitation to justice ginsburg and put in a good word? many of you have seen the famous picture of justice scalia and justice ginsburg riding atop an elephant in india. it captured so much of ruth, there she was, doing something totally unexpected, just as she had in law school, where she was not only one of the few women, but a new mother to boot. and in the photograph she is riding with a dear friend, a friend with totally divergent
views. there is no indication in the photo that either was poised to push the other off. for many years, of course, ruth battled serious illness. she met each of those challenges with the combination of candid assessment and fierce determination. in doing so, she encouraged others who have their own battles with illness, including employees here in the court. and she emerged victorious, time and again, against all odds. but finally the odds won out, and now ruth has left us. i mention at the outset that ruth's passing weighed most heavily on her family and that is true. but the court was her family too. this building was her home too. of course she will live on in what she did to improve the law and the lives of all of us.
>> a very emotional chief justice john roberts there talking about the life and legacy of the woman he called ruth, just begiice ginsburg, wir friends and family, close associates in the halls of the supreme court, her portrait overlooking all of it. you saw her kids jane and jim ginsburg there. judge robert katzman in the audience with the family. he was on the team that shepherded justice ginsburg through her confirmation hearings, they remained good friends. she had many good friends in and around the court. she's remembered this morning in a ceremony that is bringing many people to tears at this point. there is a private ceremony that will happen, that is not open to the public, but starting in just about an hour or so. members of the public will be able to file up the steps of the supreme court, once justice ginsburg's casket is moved to the steps. there had to be some changes since we last saw a moment like
this after the death of justice scalia and that is because of the pandemic, you're seeing people in masks, you're seeing much of the public part of the services and the honoring of justice ginsburg happening outdoors as well. i want to bring back in with us melissa murray who served as a law clerk to justice sotomayor. she's an msnbc legal analyst. amy howell, founder of scotus blog is with us. and lilly led better, she was a plaintiff in a case where she sued her employer, goodyear, over pay discrimination, arguing she was paid less than her male colleagues because shes with a wom was a woman. the coral rule e court ruled ag. two years after that decision, congress passed and president obama signed into law the lily ledbetter fair pay act. justice ginsburg had a framed copy of that bill inside her chambers at the supreme court. lilly, i'm so appreciative of
you being here this morning. i know justice ginsburg became a friend of yours in the aftermath of all this. can you tell me what you're thinking and feeling this morning as we have been living in these services for the justice. >> she is -- was such a huge person in my life and she made such a tremendous difference in my life when she challenged congress to take up the ball. she said justice is in your court, it is up to you. and she did. she changed and challenged congress so heavily that they had to pick up that ball. and when that ball went to the court, when the -- from the court to the hall of congress, i went with it. because she gave me as i said many times the dignity to hold my head up and go forward because i had nothing to be embarrassed about. i had a good case. and she agreed with me. she did. she said these other justices do
not understand what it is like in the real world and we must change this grave injustice back. she became the very dear friend of mine, she mailed me a copy of her husband's cookbook and wrote me the sweetest note. i have it and hold on to it dearly. she sent me from time to time articles and printed material that would ahave both her pictue and mine and i treasured those, my attorney here in alabama said don't worry about what she sends, keep that envelope. he said i never knew anyone to get mail from a supreme court justice's personal mail. she was is dear and i met her in 2010 in her chambers and she had just moved in, that large corner office, and she was so thoughtful and so caring. >> lilly, i too am so honored you are with us this morning.
hallie mense ementioned a momen. justice kinz gurg kept thginsbu of the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. what did it mean to her? what were ruth bader ginsburg's hopes for women in this country? >> it was her hope and her desire for justice and equality for all. and i can tell you, she was a stickler for the law. she wanted it exact. she wanted it -- ever how the law was written or how it was interpreted and the -- she wanted you to stay that way. she wanted that law exact. but she and i shared that -- >> i appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> thank you so much, lilly. obviously this is an emotional day for you, for so many people around the country.
lilly ledbetter having that personal connection to justice ruth bader ginsburg. melissa, i want to bring you into the conversation. chief justice john roberts had a personal connection to justice ginsburg. the two of them sat next to each other when hearing the cases coming to them on the supreme court. it was interesting that the chief justice and perhaps not surprising did seem to get emotional in those remarks as the private ceremony now is just beginning for friends and family inside the court. >> it is very clear that although they were often on opposite sides of various cases, not the least of which the shelby county versus holder case, that voting rights act case that made the justice a cultural icon. she came out swinging in a dissent that took on the chief justice, but despite being on the opposite sides of so many issues, it was very clear that everyone at the court enjoyed a warm relationship with justice ginsburg. it is a very small body, it is a multimember court, but with only
nine people, they get to know each other pretty well, they know their families, it is not sort of the place where workplace disagreements with allowed to fester and infect the kind of working relationships that they have. so one of the things that always touched me was when justice ginsburg and her later years when she was quite frail would step down from the bench at oral arguments, justice thomas offered her his arm. a collegial court, and certainly one that misses this particular lion of the liberal wing. >> amy, you argued cases in front of the supreme court. what memory of justice ginsburg stands out to you most? >> she was often the first justice to ask questions, and, you know, she was always tireless in -- as lilly ledbetter said asking about, talking about women's rights, but she was also a stickler for pr