In 1974, serving as the National Legal Vice President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), I collaborated with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, on a brief to the United States Supreme Court.
Only nine years out of law school, I was delighted to have the opportunity to know and work with this icon of women’s rights lawyers. The case, Corning Glass v. Brennan, had been brought under the federal Equal Pay Act challenging the employer’s payment of more money to men working the night shift than to women working the day shift. Ginsburg sought my assistance with the friend of court brief she was writing on behalf of the ACLU. Working with her and debating the applicability of the EPA was one of the highlights of my career. She was, as I described her, “scary smart,” and the amicus brief that we produced was a thing of beauty. The Supreme Court’s decision, which upheld our position, even contained a footnote expressing an argument that had been one of my contributions to the brief we submitted.
I mourn her passing and the loss of that “scary smart” legal brain.
Judith A. Lonnquist, Seattle