LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Retired Judge Joseph Cosgrove met Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in New York shortly after her 1993 appointment to the High Court. That encounter led to a lasting friendship.
“She’s been a mentor to me. A guide and a dear friend,” said Atty. Joseph Cosgrove, Retired Judge, Commonwealth Court of PA/Luzerne County.
His dear friend also left her mark on some of Cosgrove’s students. He taught constitutional law at King’s College and would occasionally bring students to Washington D.C. to observe the Supreme Court and meet Ginsburg. He recalls how she would sometimes grill them including one student who comes to mind.
“Ultimately that experience sparked his interest and how he’s a very, very prominent lawyer,” said Cosgrove.
Ginsburg was one of only four women and one of eight Jewish people to serve on the Supreme Court. A true inspiration to Judges like Lesa Gelb who is also Jewish and a fellow Cornell University Alumni.
“The words gender equality actually mean something. She made them household words. And she didn’t only talk the talk, she walked the walk,” said Judge Lesa Gelb, Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
Ginsburg is best known for fighting for women’s rights but she took up the cause of many others including the LGBTQ community.
“The greatest lesson that Justice Ginsburg has given us is to care about the rights of others, the rights of people different from ourselves, the rights of all Americans,” said Atty. David Schwager, President, Bar Association of PA.
He and Cosgrove agree her name will live on forever.
“How many justices can we name? How many justices do we remember? There are very few. There’s John Marshall from the 1800s. There’s Thurgood Marshall in the 1960s, 70s. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be one of these iconic figures in America,” said Cosgrove.