In a forthcoming children’s book, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, out Sept. 20, Debbie Levy and illustrator Elizabeth Baddeley depict the notorious R.B.G. arguing her entire life. (Though Ginsburg has seen the book and written a nice note to its publishers, she can’t officially endorse it.)
“You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life has been … one disagreement after another,” the book begins, before chronicling a series of conflicts with teachers who thought she should take home-ec instead of shop, classmates who didn’t think she should go to law school, colleagues who thought she should stay home instead of working, and countless lawyers and judges she battled in the courts. “Ruth did not win every case,” Levy writes, “but she won enough.”
But it was after she joined the Supreme Court that Ginsburg met her favorite antagonist: Antonin Scalia, Ginsburg’s late friend and sparring partner. “They shared their conflicting ideas,” Levy writes. “Each pointed out weaknesses in the other’s arguments. And after the opinions were written … the two justices had fun with each other! They didn’t let disagreements about law get in the way of a long friendship.”
The Ginsburg of I Dissent is a crusader, but she has a soft side: after she and Scalia vehemently disagree in court, they go parasailing in France and elephant riding in India. (Nonfiction!) In a true meeting of the minds, politics just doesn’t matter.