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We Know Her as RBG. A Colleague Reveals a New Nickname

The woman Sonia Sotomayor calls the 'Steel Magnolia' says she feels 'very good' after radiation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2019 7:45 AM CDT
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – Once again, Ruth Bader Ginsburg persevered after a medical scare, and the Supreme Court's oldest justice says it's her work on the bench that has kept her going. Per the Hill and AP, Ginsburg appeared Tuesday evening at a Clinton Foundation event in a packed Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark., and she said she felt "very good" following her most recent procedure: three weeks of radiation treatment for a malignant pancreatic tumor, which has left her once again cancer-free. Ginsburg had previously had colorectal cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer a decade later, and lung cancer last year. "I think my work is what saved me because instead of dwelling on my physical discomforts, if I have an opinion to write or a brief to read, I know I've just got to get it done, so I have to get over it," she told NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg.

Totenberg asked Ginsburg why she showed up at the event so soon after treatment, to which the 86-year-old replied, "I had promised the Clinton Library that I would be here." Ginsburg also reminisced on the almost three-year stretch when she was the only woman on the court after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired in 2006. "It was a lonely position," she said, per Politico, adding to a laughing crowd: "There was something wrong with the picture. The public would see these eight rather well-fed men coming on the bench, and then there was this rather small woman." She said that somewhat-alienated feeling abated once Sonia Sotomayor came to the court in 2009, followed by Elena Kagan in 2010. Meanwhile, Sotomayor appeared on Seth Meyers' late-night show on Tuesday, revealing her own personal nickname for Ginsburg, per the AV Club: "The 'Steel Magnolia,' [since she's] delicate on the outside, but she has an iron rod behind her." (Read more Ruth Bader Ginsburg stories.)

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