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Ginsburg’s advice on marriage and Court camaraderie

Last week Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at an event hosted by the Harvard Club of Washington, DC, which honored the justice with a public service award.

In her remarks, she touched on everything from the power of the dissent (dissents read from the bench are “meant to get immediate public attention and spur Congressional action,” as in the Ledbetter case, she said) to the most boring statute on the books in her opinion (ERISA just beats out the IRS Code).

But during the question-and-answer session of the luncheon, Ginsburg was asked not only about the law, but also about the secret of her 55-year marriage to Georgetown University Law Center professor and tax law guru Martin D. Ginsburg.

Ginsburg said the best advice she got was from her mother-in-law-to-be just before the wedding.

“She said: ‘Dear, it pays sometimes to just be a little deaf,” Ginsburg said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

“I have followed that advice throughout my long married life, but also with respect to some of my colleagues” on the Court, Ginsburg added, drawing more laughter.

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