Here you’ll find more than 1,000 books with entries from fellow judges, some of Ginsburg’s old annotated law textbooks, and gifts from Gloria Steinem and Annie Leibovitz.
You could even see the corrections she made to one of her colleague’s books – after it was published.
And no Ginsburg-iana collection would be complete without honorary degrees from Brown University and Smith College.
Here’s what caught our attention:
Lots 1, 2 and 4: textbooks
Lot 3: The Harvard Law Review of 1957-1958
According to Bonhams, Ginsburg heavily annotated an essay titled “Problems of Parallel States and Federal Remedies” and one titled “Pricing Restrictive Patent Licenses Under the Sherman Act,” by Helmut F. Furth. In the latter, Ginsburg “emphasizes and annotates Furth’s history of the price-fixing patent and the court’s regulation of it.”
Lot 5) Swedish civil procedure
“It’s just instinct for me,” she told Biskupic in early 2020. “The procedure is supposed to serve the people the law exists to serve.”
“Reading and observing another system gave me a better understanding of my own system,” Ginsburg added of his time in Sweden.
Lots 16 and 33: honorary certificates in Latin
Seriously, it’s a no-brainer. Buy the diploma, present it at school, take advantage of the tax advantage, etc. Don’t let any random Dartmouth fan get away with this one.
Lot 25: If you are Larry Tribe
An autographed copy of Tribe’s Harvard Law Review essay “Taking Text and Structure Seriously: Reflections on the Free-Form Method in Constitutional Interpretation.”
Lots 28 and 62: Leibovitz, Sontag and Steinem
Two books inscribed with Ginsburg are symbols of the influence she had on the world at large for women who benefited from her example and the paths she blazed.
It’s also fetching a pretty penny. Tuesday night bidding was at $18,000 and climbing. (Bonham’s valuation: $300 to $500.)
Lot 38: ‘Beloved’
Lots 32, 36, 39, 56, 71 and more: Books of other judges
Supreme Court justices are prolific writers on and off the bench, so it’s no surprise that Ginsburg has copies of his colleagues’ books on his shelves.
Lot 54: A Gift from Scalia
Now, a verbatim reading of the note might imply that it could only be read in the summer, and specifically in the summer of 2012. But it’s a book, and why should people be restricted from reading it or reference it at any other time of the year? Who would enforce a law on what people consent to read at home? Finally, the note raises the question of whether buyers can’t read the book at all, given that it was a note from Scalia to Ginsburg in 2012 and says nothing about the year 2022 or mentions the idea of a third party looking at the book.
Lot 138: Love and marriage
There’s an autographed copy of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” the late author’s 2006 book about the year after her husband’s death, autographed to Marty and Ruth.
“Wedding Days. When and How Great Marriages Began”, by Susan J. Gordon, has a section on the Ginsburg relationship. The inscription: “To Ruth and Martin, loving partners in their own great marriage.”
Lot 143: The stars come out
The set includes a copy of Fey’s “Bossypants,” given to Ginsburg by a former clerk (a rarity among the sold collection), two copies of “Along the Way,” by Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez, and Diane von “The woman I wanted to be” by Furstenberg.
Lot 151: Woodward and Bernstein
Fascinating to some legal observers will be RBG’s copy of “The Brethren,” by Woodward and Scott Armstrong. Published in 1979, it was a startling behind-the-scenes account of the Supreme Court as justices handed down landmark decisions. Judges then – and now – prefer to let their writings be the final word and keep their deliberations and projects private.
But hurry, the auction ends Thursday.