The Notorious RBG in Chicago: Ginsburg raps on the past and the future

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledges the audience applause on Monday during her visit to the University of Chicago.

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledges the audience applause on Monday during her visit to the University of Chicago. Associated Press

  • "I must say, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming when everyone wants to take my picture. I'm 86 years old," Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Monday in Chicago. The Supreme Court justice has a massive pop culture presence and has been dubbed the "Notorious R.B.G."

    "I must say, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming when everyone wants to take my picture. I'm 86 years old," Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Monday in Chicago. The Supreme Court justice has a massive pop culture presence and has been dubbed the "Notorious R.B.G." Associated Press

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, responds to a question Monday during her visit to the University of Chicago for a conversation with Harris School of Public Policy Deean Katherine Baicker.

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, responds to a question Monday during her visit to the University of Chicago for a conversation with Harris School of Public Policy Deean Katherine Baicker. Associated Press

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg credits the rise of women in law to President Jimmy Carter, who appointed more than 25 as district court judges and 11, including Ginsburg, as appellate judges.

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg credits the rise of women in law to President Jimmy Carter, who appointed more than 25 as district court judges and 11, including Ginsburg, as appellate judges. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/9/2019 8:19 PM

Just weeks after announcing she received treatment for pancreatic cancer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday reminded a Chicago crowd the nation has "come a long way," while calling her rise to the top an "unrealistic" expectation back in her law school days, when women weren't hired as lawyers, much less judges.

The liberal icon turned pop-culture figure said she's "optimistic" for the nation's future but acknowledged she would like to see future justices appointed for their qualifications, not for how they are expected to vote on contentious cases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I have seen enormous changes, and that's what makes me optimistic for the future," Ginsburg, 86, said at the University of Chicago. In a one-hour conversation, Ginsburg called the Supreme Court "the most collegial place" she's ever worked -- in a storied law career that began in 1959.

• For the full report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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