Any Woman Will Not Do

Ruth Bader Ginsberg does not want to be the only female justice on the Supreme Court. But, she says, “Any woman will not do.”

There are “some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women’s rights,” Ginsburg told those gathered at the New York City Bar Association…Ginsburg stressed that the president should appoint a “fine jurist,” adding that there are many women who fit that mold.

“I have a list of highly qualified women, but the president has not consulted me,” Ginsburg said during a brief interview Wednesday night.

Other women’s rights leaders floated names on qualified moderate jurists. I’m not holding my breath.

Hey, maybe when Jill gets through law school…

Related Reading: Et Tu, Patrick?


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20 comments for “Any Woman Will Not Do

  1. Jon C.
    September 22, 2005 at 7:28 pm

    I’m glad we have Justice Ginsburg on record stating that judicial philosophy and temperament are more important concerns than demographics in choosing the next justice. Conservatives have been saying that from the outset.

  2. September 22, 2005 at 9:17 pm

    Jon, I think everyone has been saying that from the outset. Judicial philosophy — and part of that is asking, do they believe in following legal precedent, or are they a right-leaning activist judge who would overturn decades of established law?

    That said, I’ll be awaiting my Supreme Court appointment in three years.

  3. September 22, 2005 at 11:29 pm

    I’ll be your press secretary.

    Assuming I’ve graduated by then…

  4. September 23, 2005 at 12:05 am

    To quote Thurgood Marshall:

    “My dad told me way back that you can’t use race. For example, there’s no difference between a white snake and a black snake. They’ll both bite.”

  5. OHNOES
    September 23, 2005 at 12:49 am

    …do they believe in following legal precedent, or are they a right-leaning activist judge who would overturn decades of established law?

    *COUGH COUGH*

  6. September 23, 2005 at 12:50 am

    Key phrase there is: overturn decades of established law.

  7. c&d
    September 23, 2005 at 3:27 am

    I think she is saying “no.” to that fucking nutcase Janice Rodgers Brown.

  8. Jon C.
    September 23, 2005 at 7:40 am

    There is nothing inherently “activist” about overturning established law. This is a common mistake people make when talking about the judiciary. Plessy v. Ferguson was established law- it was not “activism” to overrule it. The test is not slavish adherence to precedent, whatever that precedent may be; the test is whether the Court’s action is consistent with the textual meaning of the Constitution.

  9. September 23, 2005 at 8:04 am

    Let’s focus people. Judges are suppose to interpret the Constittution – nothing more.
    Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg is a perfect example of an activist judge who ‘makes law’ instead of interpreting law – WHICH IS HER SWORN JOB! That makes her a traitor.
    Congress is suppose to make the law and the court is suppose to decide if it is Constitutional.
    Going outside of the country to interpret our laws is unconstitutional also, but that is exactly what the leftist judges say they do.
    We are losing our Constitution thru activist liberal judges and we must replace them with judges who don’t bring their socialist politics to the job.
    But that is exactly what liberals want them to do. Create libealism from the bench since it cannot win at the ballot box.

  10. Rabbit
    September 23, 2005 at 11:05 am

    Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg is a perfect example of an activist judge who ‘makes law’ instead of interpreting law – WHICH IS HER SWORN JOB! That makes her a traitor.

    That part was really funny. I frequent message boards about the dorky game that I play…and this was like straight out of those boards. This could totally be a ‘nerf judges’ thread. :-)

  11. Linnaeus
    September 23, 2005 at 11:08 am

    And it’s Buzzi, not “Buzzy”. If you’re going to mock someone, at least get the fucking spelling right.

  12. Dan
    September 23, 2005 at 11:13 am

    Justice Ginsberg said that she thought that John Roberts is “willing to listen and learn.” I hope Justice Ginsberg also is “willing to listen and learn” from the soon to be Chief Justice.

  13. September 23, 2005 at 1:39 pm

    There is nothing inherently “activist” about overturning established law. This is a common mistake people make when talking about the judiciary. Plessy v. Ferguson was established law- it was not “activism” to overrule it.

    Then what, exactly, is activism? “Judicial activism” largely involves overturning established law. I think the problem is saying that any sort of judicial activism is inherently bad. Overturning Plessy was a great judicial action; it was also consistent with the Constitution. That’s a good thing. And we can thank left-leaning “activist judges” for it.

  14. Dan
    September 23, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Judicial activism refers to situations in which a court prohibits legislation on matters that traditionally are thought to be appropriate subjects for legislation. The two most outrageous examples of judicial activism are the Dred Scott decision and Roe v. Wade. In Dred Scott the Court ruled, among other things, that Congress could not pass legislation to outlaw slavery in the Western territories. In Roe, the Court ruled that legislatures cannot prohibit abortion (with exceptions so limited that they are meaningless). Third place in the Supreme Court’s Hall of Shame is the Lochner decision, in which the Court ruled that legislatures cannot pass worker protection laws (the Court later initially struck down the New Deal on basically the same basis).

    Absence of judicial activism is no guarantee of justice, however. The Supreme Court also has failed to act at times when doing so resulted in injustices. For example, it refused to find forced sterilization unconstitutional in a case involving a woman who was involuntarily sterilized because she was a prostitute (Justices Holmes famously commented that “one generation of imbeciles is enough”) and failed to protect the Japanese from internment during World War II.

    In short, while the Supreme Court was a few years ahead of the country as a whole with Brown v. Board of Education, overall it has a horrible track record of doing justice, as opposed to going with the way the wind blows, at critical junctures in our history. What this tells us is that the “protection” of the Court when it is judicially active is wholly illusory but an inactive Court is not a guarantee of justice either.

  15. September 23, 2005 at 2:21 pm

    In short, while the Supreme Court was a few years ahead of the country as a whole with Brown v. Board of Education, overall it has a horrible track record of doing justice, as opposed to going with the way the wind blows, at critical junctures in our history. What this tells us is that the “protection” of the Court when it is judicially active is wholly illusory but an inactive Court is not a guarantee of justice either.

    I think you’re pretty wrong there, Dan. One of the roles of the Supreme Court is to protect the minority from the tyrrany of the majority. Where the Cout has gotten into trouble is where it has been swayed by public opinion (see Japanese internment, Dred Scott, etc). When we look at the major social justice and civil rights victories of our time, I think we see that the Court was behind a lot of them. I’m not sure we can come up with very many places in history where the public has been crying for greater protection of minority groups or wider civil liberties and the court took the oposite stance. We have, though, seen many examples of a majority of the American public being on the wrong side of things. A few examples: School desegregation, interracial marriage, marriage equality, reproductive rights.

  16. September 23, 2005 at 4:36 pm

    There are “some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women’s rights,”… “I have a list of highly qualified women, but the president has not consulted me”

    I think Ginsberg is trying to sit on two chairs at once. She says that it’s important to have another woman on the Court but qualifies it by adding that it must be someone committed to women’s rights. Why is it important to appoint another woman, though? Is it just to bring diversity to the Court or is it to advance women’s rights? I don’t think it’s the former and neither does Ginsberg; hence, the caveat of “any woman will not do”. If it’s the latter, what difference would the gender of the nominee make if he or she has a record of supporting women’s rights?

    If it’s both, there’s an additional problem. Really good candidates, jurists with the potential to push the Court forward, will fall through the cracks because they don’t fit the gender or race requirements. I think we’re better of if we look for the candidate with the best ideas… only.

  17. Dan
    September 23, 2005 at 4:43 pm

    Justice Ginsburg is encouraged because she thinks John Roberts is “willing to listen and learn.” If a pro-life woman is appointed, hopefully Justice Ginsburg also will be “willing to listen and learn.”

  18. NBarnes
    September 23, 2005 at 8:28 pm

    David: It’s an unsubtle distinction between ‘women judges are needed on the Supreme Cout less it become a body of rich, entrenched (mostly white) men with no understanding of the world beyond their experiences’, which the SCotUS has certainly been at times in the past and ‘Janice Rogers Brown is a lunatic and nominating her doesn’t count’. Much the same way that the SCotUS should have a black justice that isn’t a lunatic, unlike Thomas.

  19. OHNOES
    September 24, 2005 at 11:51 am

    Change the word “lunatic” to “conservative” in that last post.

  20. September 24, 2005 at 1:23 pm

    You said it, OHNOES. They’re increasingly synonymous.

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