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Justice Ginsburg Speaks About Feminism, Death Penalty at Stanford Lecture

The 24-year Supreme Court veteran said if it was up to her there would be no death penalty or Electoral College

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at Stanford University on Monday night, broaching several topics from feminism to the death penalty to the political divide in our nation today.

The theme during the annual Rathbun lecture at Stanford Memorial church was "A Meaningful Life," and Ginsburg certainly could speak from experience.

Ginsburg, who's been on the U.S. Supreme Court for 24 years, was not allowed to speak about any issues that are or will likely be in front of the high court, so that left a lot of room for Ginsburg herself.

"Someday, there will be great people, great elected representatives, who will say enough of this nonsense, let's be the kind of Legislature the United States should have," she told the gathering. "I hope I'm still alive."

Ginsburg said if it was up to her, and only her, there would be no death penalty or Electoral College. She also addressed what she sees as a hidden aspect of racism and sexism.

"Unconscious bias," she said, "it's not so easy to overcome."

She identified the part of the U.S. Constitution that she holds most dear.

"That right to speak your mind and not worry about Big Brother government coming down on you and telling you the right way," she said.

Ginsburg's admirers had nothing but praise after the speech.

"Think outside of yourself, act outside of yourself and try to fix the tears in our community. That resonated!" said Kim Navarro, of San Francisco.

Michelle Pacione, of Palo Alto, said hearing from wise figures such as Ginsburg is welcome and necessary in times like these.

"We need women to kind of step up because there is still a lot of things that need to change in order for there to be equality," Pacione said.

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