Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg paid her first trip to the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, the school whose all-male admissions policy the 83-year-old Supreme Court Justice famously struck down in a majority decision 20 years ago.
In a speech made before the school’s cadets, Ginsburg said that despite opposition — including that of her legendary friend and adversary Justice Antonin Scalia — she knew that opening the school’s doors to women “would make VMI a better place.” Even those initially opposed, she added, would come to see “how much good women could do for the institution.”
Laura Tyler Chambers, a 2003 graduate of VMI, met with Ginsburg before the event to present the 83-year-old justice with her own steel combat ring. “I gave it to her to thank her for battling us,” Chambers said.
During the talk, Ginsburg sported a “keydet” pin that was awarded to mothers of graduating cadets in the 1960s. She explained that it had been sent to her from a man who graduated VMI in 1967 after the death of his mother, telling her that “he thought she would be proud if I wear it.”
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