Michigan health director recounts Ginsburg: ‘Fierce defender of equality, a brilliant jurist’

MDHHS Director Gordon, Wayne State Law School professor Robert Sedler share memories of late jurist

MDHHS director shares memories with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
MDHHS director shares memories with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director and a Wayne State University Law School professor are recounting their interaction with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg died Friday of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. MDHHS Director Robert Gordon clerked for Ginsburg right out of Yale Law School.

“She was a quiet person. She was physically very small. She spoke in a quiet voice and slowly, sort of had to lean in to hear her, but she was very precise with language. She could be extremely funny in a dry-as-dust way. She held your attention like very few people did,” Gordan said. “She was a wonderful combination of fierce defender of equality, a brilliant jurist and a kind human being.”

Wayne State University Law School’s distinguished professor Robert Sedler is a contemporary of Ginburg’s, and they crossed paths over the years fighting for gender equality.

Sedler said in addition to a talented jurist, she was a lovely human being.

“She’s just a very warm person. The concern for people, the concern for equality, the concern for rights that is reflected in her opinion comes out when you meet her as a person,” he said.


About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.