Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s own words

When she received an honorary degree from Harvard in 2011, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was serenaded by opera tenor Placido Domingo. Ginsburg calls this picture ‘Woman in Ecstasy.’ Photo: Steven Senne | AP.

We’re not sure the day will ever come when Americans are as interested in the U.S. Supreme Court as they are with the two other players in Washington — Congress and the president.

So we’re rather eating up the opportunity to hear behind-the-scenes stories afforded by the new book from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The book is published by a division of CBS, so CBS News has gotten two days of exclusive interviews out of the deal.

Yesterday, she told Jane Pauley that she graduated first in her class, but didn’t get a single job offer.

“I had three strikes against me: One, I was Jewish; two, I was a woman. But the killer was that I was the mother of a four-year-old child,” she said.

This morning, she told CBS News’ Charlie Rose about her close friendship with the late justice Antonin Scalia, a polar opposite philosophically. There’s a lesson there for us all.

“It’s a paler place without him,” she said. “He had the uncanny ability to make even the most somber judge smile.”

“Most collegial place I’ve ever worked,” she told Pauley. “I think we understand that for the Court to work well, we have to not only respect, but genuinely like each other.”