Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn in 1933. She meets Steve Rogers pre- or post-freezing.
It was nice to be back in New York, Steve thought, after touring the whole country with the Star Spangled Show. Even better, once the show was done here, they were going overseas – not into combat, but at least it was a start. It made him cheer up just to think about it, and he maybe threw a little extra flair into the show every night, took a little extra time at the stage door.
“What’s your name?” he asked, crouching to get on eye-level with the little girl who had been patiently waiting behind several taller, pushier people.
“Ruth,” she said shyly, offering him her autograph book.
“Lovely name,” he replied. “Did you like the show?”
She nodded. “I liked the dancing.”
“You gonna be a dancer when you grow up?”
“Nuh uh,” she said.
“What’re you gonna be?”
“A judge,” she said.
“Yeah? You gonna make sure justice is done?”
She nodded soberly.
“Well, Ruth, you gotta study hard, you know that, right?” he asked, as he signed her book. “I expect to see you on the bench someday.”
“Thank you,” she murmured, stepping back, and another handful of kids surged around her. Cute kid.
Steve had always liked Civics in school, but when you had to catch up on seventy years between your last history class and the present, it could get a little overwhelming. On the other hand, celebrity was good for something; when he’d been working on memorizing the names and major cases of the Supreme Court justices, Tony had said, “Well, do you want to meet them?”
A couple of long phone calls and a few weeks later, Steve passed through a LOT of security, down a hallway, and into a courtroom; it was early in the morning, ahead of the open public hours, and the room smelled like coffee. A tiny bird of a woman in a black gown was standing in front of the seating box.
“Captain,” she said, as he shook her hand.
“Justice Ginsburg, right?” he asked. “It’s an honor, ma’am.”
“I feel the same,” she said, and there was something very familiar about her smile. “I wanted to get here a little earlier than everyone else, to speak to you in private.”
He was opening his mouth, about to ask why, when she reached into a pocket of the robe and took out a battered leather book, the kind kids used to collect autographs in.
“I don’t suppose you remember, you must have signed a lot of autographs,” she said. “But back in the war, just before you left for overseas, I went to see your bond show.”
Steve looked down. Scrawled on the page was his clumsy signature and, in slightly better lettering, To Judge Ruth. Study Hard!
He looked up at her, eyes wide. “No, I remember – I asked if you wanted to be a dancer and you said no, you were going to be a judge.”
“You were the first adult outside of my family who didn’t sneer at a girl wanting to be a judge,” she said.
“Well,” Steve said faintly. “Guess you must have studied.”
“Captain America said he wanted to see me on the bench. Couldn’t very well let him down,” she replied, and Steve laughed.