By Chuck Ross
A quick Labor Day program note: Tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT, CNN will present a superb documentary, “RBG.” [NOTE: For those of you who missed these screenings, CNN will repeat “RBG” on Sunday, Sept. 9th, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., ET, which is 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. PT.]
Produced by CNN Films, “RBG” was a hit when it had its premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival. RBG stands for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice, and one would be hard-pressed to name a more appropriate film to watch on Labor Day.
What many will learn for the first time in the documentary is not about the liberal ideology Ginsberg brings to her interpretation of the Constitution as a living document, but the fact that, as NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg says in the film, “Ruth Bader Ginsberg changed the way the world is for American women.”
Ginsberg did this in six gender discrimination cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court years before she joined the court herself.
Much of the film features the obstacles Ginsberg faced on her path to the Court. Most of these were due to her being a woman during a time women were not considered equal to men in the workplace, yet alone in much of society.
As companion piece to the film, I would also urge you to watch a wonderful 2014 interview of Ginsberg and one of her best friends, the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, that’s conducted by former CBS and NBC journalist Marvin Kalb. Here it is, via YouTube. Under that video you can watch Ginsberg’s eulogy during Scalia’s funeral in 2016.