PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The day before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, she was honored in Philadelphia for her courage and conviction to advance the cause of liberty around the globe. One of the participants of the virtual Liberty Medal ceremony spoke to KYW Newsradio about what Ginsburg meant to him.
Jeffrey Rosen, the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall, met Ginsburg almost 30 years ago in a chance encounter when he was a law clerk on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
"She was a judge. We met in an elevator," he recalled. "She was coming down from a workout and she was completely silent, and it was so intimidating. To break the ice, I blurted out, 'What operas have you seen recently?'
"And I didn't even know she was a opera fan, but I am and she is, and we just bonded over opera and music, and we began our conversation about music and law that continued to this day."
Therefore, it was fitting for the National Constitution Center to include opera music and words from Ginsburg's favorite singers in her online Liberty Medal ceremony Thursday.
The next day, she died.
Rosen said he couldn't think of a better recipient of the 32nd annual Liberty Medal, and reflected on what he learned from her.
"To be our best self," he said, "and to work for something larger than ourselves that would improve the common good."