Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The question is often asked to me by the school groups that visit the Court, “Did you always want to be a Supreme Court Justice?” Or more modestly, “Did you always want to be a judge?” And I laugh because in the days that I went to law school, only one woman in the history of the United States had ever been a federal appeals court judge. She was Florence Allen, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She stepped down in 1959, the year I graduated from law school, and then there were none again. So if you were a realist as a woman, you knew that chances for a federal judgeship were slim to none. I never thought about becoming a judge until Jimmy Carter became president. And Jimmy Carter did something wonderful. He looked around at the federal judiciary and he observed, “They all look like me.” They were all white men of a certain age. But he added, “That’s not the way the great United States looks. I want my judges to reflect the greatness of the people of the United States in all their diversity. So I will appoint members of minority groups and women — not as one-at-a-time curiosities like Florence Allen — but in numbers. So then for the first time I thought, “Yes, I would like to be a judge.” Now, I had spent ten years litigating gender discrimination cases. I had been a teacher, law teacher, for 17 years. I thought it might be kind of nice to be part of the decision-making process. Before 1977 no woman who was a realist ever aspired to a federal judgeship. And then what Carter did, he appointed I think over 25 women to federal trial courts, to the federal district court bench, and then 11 of us to the courts of appeals, and I was one of the lucky 11.