Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enthralls audience at UC Berkeley, says she's doing well after recent cancer fight

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg walked onto the stage of Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley, the audience leaped to their feet and clapped so hard she had to settle them down.

It's the kind of rockstar welcome that follows the 86-year-old justice, known to her fans as the notorious RBG, everywhere she goes.

RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visits UC Berkeley, shares the best advice she's received

Ginsburg was the inaugural lecturer for the Herman Hill Kay speaker series at Berkeley Law.

Kay, who died in 2017, was a dear friend of Ginsburg's and the first female dean at the law school.

"When she came on stage, I literally started crying," said Erin Wiens, a UC Berkeley student.
Berkeley law professor Amanda Tyler kicked off the conversation by asking Ginsburg about her health. The justice recently completed treatment for pancreatic cancer.

"Compared to how I was six months ago, very well," she said.

Ginsburg went on to say that she is even back to the gym and that her workout routine continued during treatment.

The conversation seemed to grip the audience who stayed put for more than 90 minutes while Ginsburg went through her greatest hits. She talked about her storybook marriage, her iconic fights for gender equality, her personal struggles tas well.

She even shared a conversation she had with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the supreme court, about their struggles to get into the legal profession, including big law firms.

"Because we didn't have that path available to us we both ended up on the US Supreme Court," she said.

For Disha Bhatt, a law student in the audience looking for her first job, that was all the inspiration she needed.

"One thing I'm going to take away is that barriers are blessings," said Bhatt.

The conversation steered clear of politics, but Ginsburg did get a jab in-- when she shared her best marriage advice.

"It helps every now and then to be a little deaf," she said, "that is advice I've followed not just in marriage but to this day in dealing with my colleagues."

While there was no mention of retirement, Ginsburg made it clear that her legendary energy endures, even after 26 years on the bench.

"If you've survived cancer, you have a zest for life that you didn't have before, that you count each day as a blessing."
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