HEAT ALERT

Excessive heat watch issued for parts of New Jersey with sizzling temperatures

‘I knew she was destined for greatness’ - Former secretary reflects on life and legacy of Justice Ginsburg

As much of the country debates how and who will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one Newark woman is remembering her former boss as a woman who was an inspiration.

News 12 Staff

Sep 23, 2020, 2:45 AM

Updated 1,366 days ago

Share:

As much of the country debates how and who will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one Newark woman is remembering her former boss as a woman who was an inspiration.
Marie Melito was just 18 years old when she went to work as a secretary for Ginsburg, who was then an assistant professor of law at Rutgers University. Melito says that she knew from the first day that there was something special about her boss.
“I knew she was destined for greatness. Everyone admired her,” Melito says.
Melito worked with Ginsburg for five years. She calls Ginsburg an inspiration. She says that she saw a side of Ginsburg that most people didn’t know.
“She had a terrific sense of humor. Very few people knew that side of her. She was very funny,” Melito says. “She was very patient and kind and I tried to emulate that.”
Melito says that when she worked for Ginsburg it was at the Ackerson Building at Rutgers – what is now the School of Nursing. When the law school got a new building in 1999, Ginsburg was there for the dedication and spent the day with Melito.
“She saw me. We were hugging in the street,” she says.
By then, Melito was on her way up the administrative ladder at Rutgers Law and eventually became an associate dean. She says that it was a position that she didn’t think she would have earned if not for Ginsburg. When Melito retired from Rutgers in 2015 after 48 years, she was given an honor that she calls the thrill of her career and life.
“It will always be known as the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Associate Dean Emerita,” Melito says.
She says that it is an honor.
“To remember that it stated way back in 1967 with that relationship,” she says.
When asked who she'd like to see replace Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, Melito answered "someone just like her.... but there really is no one else like her."


More from News 12
2:12
Scorching temperatures won’t stop NJ residents from enjoying themselves outside

Scorching temperatures won’t stop NJ residents from enjoying themselves outside

2:35
HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory in effect for New Jersey with extreme highs expected all week

HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory in effect for New Jersey with extreme highs expected all week

2:18
2 beaches close due to over-capacity amid record-breaking season of beach badge sales

2 beaches close due to over-capacity amid record-breaking season of beach badge sales

0:56
Independent investigation finds no malice intended regarding East Brunswick HS yearbook photo controversy

Independent investigation finds no malice intended regarding East Brunswick HS yearbook photo controversy

0:26
 Boil water advisory issued for parts of Clifton and Paterson due to water main break

Boil water advisory issued for parts of Clifton and Paterson due to water main break

2:46
‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

0:47
Jersey Proud: 4 Byram Intermediate School students place wreath on Tomb of Unknown Soldier

Jersey Proud: 4 Byram Intermediate School students place wreath on Tomb of Unknown Soldier

0:23
Prosecutor: PA man killed in crash on Route 31 in Clinton Township

Prosecutor: PA man killed in crash on Route 31 in Clinton Township

2:38
Gov. Murphy announces clemency program to let some offenders seek early release from prison

Gov. Murphy announces clemency program to let some offenders seek early release from prison

0:40
Hundreds attend Juneteenth celebration at Liberty State Park

Hundreds attend Juneteenth celebration at Liberty State Park

1:54
Historic Glimmer Glass Bridge closed between Brielle and Manasquan until July 1 for safety repairs

Historic Glimmer Glass Bridge closed between Brielle and Manasquan until July 1 for safety repairs

Devils acquire goalie Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames

Devils acquire goalie Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames

0:23
Vote-by-mail ballots now available for 10th Congressional District special primary election in July

Vote-by-mail ballots now available for 10th Congressional District special primary election in July

0:19
Denville imposes outdoor water restrictions until June 30

Denville imposes outdoor water restrictions until June 30

0:31
Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

2:04
NJ Transit: Service into and out of NY Penn Station on schedule following disruptions

NJ Transit: Service into and out of NY Penn Station on schedule following disruptions

0:23
Motorcycle crashes in Jersey City near Communipaw intersection

Motorcycle crashes in Jersey City near Communipaw intersection

2:06
Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

1:27
Jersey Shore towns open cooling centers to help residents deal with extreme heat

Jersey Shore towns open cooling centers to help residents deal with extreme heat

0:52
Jersey Proud: 4 men bike 217 miles from NY to Cape May to raise money for childhood cancer

Jersey Proud: 4 men bike 217 miles from NY to Cape May to raise money for childhood cancer