Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I had a great professor for constitutional law, Professor Robert E. Cushman. The ’50s were not a great time for the United States. There was an enormous Red Scare in the country stirred up by Senator Joe McCarthy, who saw a communist in every corner. Professor Cushman wanted me to understand that the United States was straying from its most basic values, that is the right to think, speak and write freely without big brother government telling you what’s the right way to think or the right way to speak or write. So I was working as Professor Cushman’s research assistant, and he had me follow the news to see who were the latest people in the entertainment industry who were blacklisted, and then to read transcripts of hearings before the House on American Activities Committee or the Senate Internal Security Committee. And from those transcripts I saw that there were lawyers standing up for these people, reminding our Congress that we have a First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech, and we have a Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination. So I thought that that was a pretty good thing to do, that a lawyer could have a professional career, could have a paid job, and volunteer services in bad times to help make things a little better. That’s when I had the idea that I would like to be a lawyer.