3 Perspectives 1 (1993-1994)

handle is hein.journals/prspctiv3 and id is 1 raw text is: VOL. 3, No. t  FALL T993

Justice Ginsburg:
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Q~atohte, O9dl, r   a  a'tte to ,../fot~e,
Professor Jane Ginsburg, professor of law at Columbia Law
School, had the opportunity to pay tribute to her mother,
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the Harvard Celebration 40
reunion, celebrating forty years of women at Harvard Law
School, on October 2, 1993. Professor Ginsburg gave us
permission to reprint her remarks.
his occasion marks the first mother-daughter
team to have attended Harvard Law School. I
gather, moreover, that there have since been three
more mother-daughter teams .... That is greater cause
for celebration. But the real celebration will come when
so many mothers and daughters have attended - and
graduated - Harvard Law School that no one keeps
count anymore.
It is nonetheless a grand occasion to give this award
to my mother, since I have spent most of my life receiving
gifts from her. Not simply material goods, but especially
intellectual and character values, such as tenacity, per-
spective and compassion. Among the many lessons she
imparted - and one I try to pass on to my students -
was the counsel to keep sight of the individuals whose
plight gives rise to the question of principle. My mother
exemplifies to me all that is best in the legal profession:
scrupulous yet pragmatic attention to form and craft -
she is, after all, a civil procedure expert; passion for
improvement of the law; and sensitivity to the individu-
als whose claims she has advanced, or whose cases were
argued before her.
My mother's family, her colleagues, students and
former clients have long appreciated these qualities. This
summer, much of the rest of the country... has perceived
them too. This August, in New York, I accompanied my
mother and father to the opera. Along the short walk
from their hotel to Lincoln Center, one passer-by after
another stopped my mother to offer congratulations and
admiration. After a while, my father expressed jocular
dismay: we'd gone almost a whole block without en-
countering a well-wisher! Just then, a man approached
us: wasn't she Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he inquired. He just
wanted her to know that he'd almost gone to James
Madison High School, where he would have been her
classmate, and now truly regrets his decision long ago...
It is a pleasure to bask in so much reflected glory and
to read the Celebration 40 award citation.
AMERICAN         BAR     ASSOCIATION

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her daughter, Professor Jane
Ginsburg

The citation reads:
Associate Justice of the United
States Supreme Court, pioneer
in the pursuit of legal rights for
women aaid the eliminalion of
gender discrimination,
committed to family, civil
liberties and the rigorous
application of the rules of
equality; your life In the law Is
marked by intellectual
Integrity, judicial wisdom, and
compassionate concern for the
public Interest, serving as a
model for generations of
Harvard Law Students.

Supreme Court Rules on Harris, 9-0-
Sets Sexual Harassment Standard

By Stephanie B.
Goldberg
The U.S. Supreme Court
reached a speedy conclu-
sion November 9, 1993,
on the only sexual harass-
ment case on its docket,
Harris v. Forklift Systems,
Inc. (No. 92-1168). In a
unanimous opinion by
Justice  Sandra   Day
O'Connor, the Court held
that a psychological injury
was not required for proof
of sexual harassment. It
reaffirms the standard set
down in the 1986 case of
Meritor Savings Bank v.
Vinson - that sexual ha-
rassment must be suffi-
ciently hostile or abusive
to violate Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964
- but underscored the
COMMI SISON         0

need for an objective de-
termination of what con-
stitutes a hostile environ-
ment.
The factors to be con-
sidered in determining ha-
rassment are: the frequency
of the conduct, its severity,
whether it is physically
threatening or humiliating
or merely offensive, and
whether it unreasonably
interferes with an em-
ployce's work perfor-
mance. The opinion
stressed that this is not an
exclusive list and stated
that while psychological
harm, like any other rel-
evant factor, may be taken
into account, no single fac-
tor is required.
Justices Antonin Scalia
and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
wrote separate concur-

rences that criticized the
test formulated by the
court. The critical issue...
is whether members of one
sex are exposed to disad-
vantageous terms or con-
ditions of employment to
which members of the
othersex are notexposed,
Ginsburg wrote. The
adjudicator's inquiry
should center.. .on whe-
ther the discriminatory
conduct has unreasonably
interfered with the plain-
tiff's work performance.
Justice Scalia warned
that the majority opinion
was dangerously vague
and might inspire more
expansive vistas of liti-
gation.... Today's opin-
ion does list a number of
Contjnti'd op paige 7

N WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

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