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21 Cardozo L. Rev. 253 (1999-2000)
Affirmative Action: An International Human Rights Dialogue

handle is hein.journals/cdozo21 and id is 267 raw text is: FIFTY-FIRST CARDOZO MEMORIAL
Ruth Bader Ginsburg* & Deborah Jones Merritt**
The fifty-first Cardozo Memorial Lecture, delivered in memory
of Benjamin N. Cardozo at the House of the Association of the Bar
of the City of New York on February 11, 1999.'
December 10, 1998 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human             Rights.    I
thought it appropriate, in recognition of that anniversary, to select
for this lecture a subject that touches and concerns main themes of
the Universal Declaration. My topic is affirmative action, as
anchored in the Universal Declaration, as the idea unfolded in the
United States, and as the concept is employed elsewhere in the
This Association's members, in the 1990s, have renewed
endeavors to act affirmatively, as counseled by the Committee to
Enhance Diversity in the Profession and affiliated committees.
The Association's ongoing efforts are trained on trying issues-the
retention and promotion, by law firms and corporate legal
departments, of minority and female lawyers.' Affirmative action
* Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States.
** John D. Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair, The Ohio State University College of
Law. The authors acknowledge with appreciation the thoughtful review and assistance of
Justice Ginsburg's 1998 Term law clerk, William Savitt.
t This Lecture was reprinted with permission from the Association of the Bar of the
City of New York and has not been altered except to conform citations generally to The
1 In addition to monitoring the progress of minority and female attorneys, and setting
goals for that progress, the Association has commissioned significant scholarship in this
field. See Cynthia Fuchs Epstein et al., Glass Ceilings and Open Doors: Women's
Advancement in the Legal Profession, 64 FORDHAM L. REV. 291 (1995) (report to the
Committee on Women in the Profession, The Association of the Bar of the City of New
York); Responses to Glass Ceilings and Open Doors: Women's Advancement in the Legal
Profession, 65 FORDHAM L. REV. 561 (1996) (collection of essays responding to Epstein's

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