Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Share Personal Trainer, Mutual Admiration

“When I see Justice Ginsburg walk down the halls, I think ‘I am seeing a hero.'” Read More

By / February 10, 2014

Oh, this is a delight! Last week, Elena Kagan delivered the Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law in New York City. It was a bit of a mutual admiration society, and why not, because when you are two of the most accomplished women in the land that is something you can (rightly) get away with.

Lots of serious legal talk went down, but here’s a fun takeaway from the evening, highlighted by The New York Times‘ Adam Liptak: the two justices have shared the same personal trainer since 1999. Ginsburg, introducing Kagan, stated that she “has the best jab-cross-hook-punch combination on the federal bench.”

Kagan then paid homage to her predecessor, expounding on her influence as a litigator and supreme court justice in several high profile cases, including Reed vs. Reed and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Kagan is a terrific storyteller, and it’s fascinating stuff, even (especially?) for the legal layperson.

The address ended on an uplifting, personal note:

“I know that I’m her colleague, and not one of her army of twenty-something groupies, but… when I see Justice Ginsburg walk down the halls, I think ‘I am seeing a hero.’ She has done as much as anyone in the last forty years to make America a more equal and just society. It is a tremendous honor to sit on the same bench as her, knowing how much she has contributed to my life, and much more importantly, to the lives of millions of women around the world.”

Watch the full lecture here: