“Disagreeing does not make a person disagreeable. In fact, it can change the world! Through her life, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made a big difference . . . one disagreement at a time.”
I was already an admirer of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but when I found a children’s book on her life I became an even bigger fan of the “Notorious RBG”. “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark” by Debbie Levy is an introduction into the life of an amazing woman who has been sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States for over 23 years. It’s pretty cool to see her life and the advances she has made in the fight for equality in the form of a picture book.
The target age is 4-8 but adults will enjoy reading it as well. The writing is at an appropriate level for children, with complicated legal concepts explained clearly. The book covers examples of Justice Ginsburg “objecting” “protesting” and “dissenting” her way through childhood, university, and on the bench. I especially like the part describing Justice Ginsburg’s close friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, even though they were very much ideologically opposed (to say the least).
When I asked for her opinion on the book, one 7 year old girl said, “I learned that men shouldn’t always do the important stuff. Maybe they could cook dinners too”. Also that Justice Ginsburg was “very smart. Maybe she could now fight Donald Trump” and that “it was interesting because she was teaching women can be powerful too”. Another 8 year old, after having read the book, dressed as the Justice for a Super Hero Day at school. RBG sent her a handwritten note.
Now we can only hope that the almost 84 year old Notorious RBG is exercising, eating healthy, and getting regular checkups. In this current legal/political climate, we need her dissenting opinions now more than ever.
Erin C. Cowling is a freelance litigator, researcher & writer at Cowling Legal Freelance and President and Founder of Flex Legal Network Inc., a network of freelance lawyers.