I commend the NYLJ for the article on child care (Women Lawyers Deploy Tactical Maneuvers to Handle Child Care”, NYLJ 1/29/19), a topic not ordinarily covered in the press. It did cover it as a “women’s” issue, however, when it is also a men’s issue, as children generally have two parents.
I still recall a day approximately 30 years ago, when my husband and I had to juggle child care because we had no babysitter on a day that we had appearances in five different courts – between the two of us. Our daughter, who was about 1, got to visit more courts in one day than most litigators, from Bankruptcy Court and Supreme Court (me) to federal court (my husband) and a few in between.
We juggled all our legal papers and a diaper/toy bag. It culminated in her visiting a federal magistrate’s chambers for a settlement conference. She was delighted to be there and the judges were all gracious and accommodating. Her parents were nervous wrecks but survived. (But it might explain why our daughter, at age 9, would shout out, correctly: “Objection, hearsay!” when watching Law and Order.)
The article brought to mind something that Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. I had the honor of accompanying foreign judges and scholars, who were studying at Columbia, to the United States Supreme Court and we were graced with the remarks of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. One of the scholars asked if Judge Ginsburg thought she would ever see true equality for women. Judge Ginsburg paused for a long while and made a wise observation that true equality would happen when society viewed child care as not just a women’s issue.
Doris Ling-Cohan is an associate justice for the Appellate Term, First Department, of state Supreme Court.