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Arizona judge remembers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer
Posted at 2:37 PM, Sep 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-27 21:39:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "If you have a good sense and you’re moving into an area where people are really, really against you, you’re afraid while you’re doing it, but you still do it. And that’s what she did," says Judge Margaret Houghton.

That's how she remembers the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The two met in Washington, D.C. through National Association of Women Judges, shortly after Ginsburg's 1993 appointment to the Supreme Court of The United States.

"It was a reception to honor the two women justices, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Ginsberg. And we knew some things about them and some things that had happened," says Houghton. "It was fabulous to get together because we respected each other."

During the reception, Houghton remembers the Solicitor General along with other male lawyers in attendance kept confusing Ginsburg and O'Connor, adding that the mix-up was something that had happened many times before.

"Have you ever seen Justice Ginsburg? Have you ever seen Justice O’Connor? Justice O’Connor is twice as big as Justice Ginsburg, She's a big horse riding western woman with blonde hair," says Houghton. "It was a big joke, but we knew about it in advance. So, we gave them a pair of T-shirts: one that said I am Sandra and one said that I am Ruth."

Houghton says another highlight of the event was seeing Ginsburg twirl a baton.

"In her youth she had been a Baton twirler," says Houghton, "We gave her a baton, and she twirled it for us. She had a wonderful sense of humor."

According to Houghton, Ginsburg was known for her tireless work ethic. Adding that both men and women who clerked for Ginsburg say wonderful things about her.

"Placing another woman on the court to take her place, does not take her place. Her place is a special place she worked out for herself," says Houghton. "She was strong and honest and just never quit."