Justice Ginsburg draws sold-out audience in New York

The evening sponsored by a museum dedicated to New York and its history turned into Ginsburg's love letter to New York City.
Image: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits onstage as the third speaker of the David Berg Distinguished Speakers Series, during an event organized by the Museum of the City of New York with WNET-TV held at the New York Academy of Medicine on Dec. 15, 2018, in New York.Rebecca Gibian / AP

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an unlikely national rock star. But the woman known as "the notorious RBG" is now the subject of a second film about her this year — in theaters on Christmas Day.

On Saturday evening, the Brooklyn native appeared in person, expressing love for her hometown of New York to a sold-out audience at the event organized by the Museum of the City of New York with WNET-TV. NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg led the question-and-answer session about Ginsburg's quarter century on the Supreme Court, and about her life.

Totenberg asked Ginsburg, 85, what she thought of a marital sex scene in the new biopic, "On the Basis of Sex," with Felicity Jones playing the young Ginsburg. It explores how her early legal battles changed the world for women.

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"What I thought of it is that Marty would have loved it," the justice deadpanned with a laugh, referring to her late husband.

The evening sponsored by a museum dedicated to New York and its history turned into Ginsburg's love letter to the city she said she misses for its "tremendous variety" — in everything from food and ethnicity to music.

What she misses most, Ginsburg said, is going to the Metropolitan Opera, whose stars she has befriended and invites annually to sing at a private Supreme Court gathering.

"There's no rival in the world" to the Met, she said.

Sitting on the stage, Ginsburg exuded the kind of vitality that has kept her going to the gym, lifting weights — a routine she was forced to interrupt last month when she fractured three ribs in a fall. She was back to work within days.

"And yesterday was my first day doing my whole workout routine," the octogenarian, high-energy New Yorker said — nonchalantly.

Saturday's conversation will air on public television stations beginning Jan. 2.