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STL Law Library Hosted Movie Night

Reading enriches people’s soul and, in some ways, movies are dynamic books. To celebrate the World Reading Day on April 24, 2019, STL Law Library held a successful movie night. The movie was “On the basis of sex”, a 2018 American biographical film based on the life and early cases of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She was a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford. She was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. President Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat on August 10, 1993.

The movie focuses on the time Ginsburg spent studying in law school as well as her working as an agent of litigation in one case. By applying her exceptional legal wisdom, she took the Moritz case, a case where a male was discriminated against in tax reduction, as her starting point for establishing a series of precedents based on gender discrimination. Her efforts powerfully contributed to American female’s equal protection progress.

Students shared their thoughts with professors after the movie. Reflections ranged from the romantic to the philosophical. One student, for example, contemplated Ginsburg’s personal life and wondered if she missed the green passion of her early career fighting for women. Another considered how the change Ginsburg brought about in the world was not brought by a single person, but by the power of an entire society. Some were in awe of the court system and analyzed the merits of the American legal system in light of Ginsburg’s story while others focused on her strategy for promoting gender equality by choosing a case where the victims of discrimination were white men, not women. That student reflected that “although Professor Mark Rosenbaum shared the story in last quarter’s Constitutional Law class, this movie reflects the wisdom of Ginsburg more deeply”.

The event was designed to allow a more informal, fun setting for students to engage with legal ideas and see how these ideas come to life. Through the movie, students saw how powerful ideas that deeply shape societies are formulated by people. The event marked one of many to come in STL’s efforts to provide a wholesome educational environment for its students.

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