Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hub




Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Marriage Equality Demonstrates 'Genius' of the Constitution

Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the recent same-sex marriage rulings demonstrate the "genius" of the U.S. Constitution, in a talk in Philadelphia last night, the AP reports:

Wedding_ginsburgGinsburg said equality has always been central to the Constitution, even if society has only applied it to minorities — be they women, blacks or gays — over time.

"So I see the genius of our Constitution, and of our society, is how much more embracive we have become than we were at the beginning," Ginsburg said in a far-ranging discussion of her work at the National Constitution Center, steps from the nation's founding at Independence Hall.

And as far as judicial activism goes, Ginsburg had more to say:

Ginsburg criticized her majority colleagues for what she called "activist" decisions that overturned laws better understood by Congress, such as the Voting Rights Act, which had been extended by a series of bipartisan presidents, most recently George W. Bush.

"That's an example of striking down legislation on a subject that the people in the political arena are better informed about than the court is," she said.

Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex marriage last week.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates at Gay Marriage

Wedding_ginsburg

UPDATE: Here's the photo (above).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg today will be the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding ceremony, the WaPo reports:

Ginsburg...she officiates at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser.

The gala wedding of Kaiser and economist John Roberts at the performing arts center brings together the nation’s highest court and the capital’s high society and will mark a new milepost in the recognition of same-sex unions....

...During a recent interview, Ginsburg seemed excited about being the first member of the court to conduct such a ceremony and said it was only a logical next step.

“I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship,” Ginsburg said.

She added: “It won’t be long before there will be another” performed by a justice. Indeed, she has another planned for September.


Seven Takeaways from Marriage Week at the Supreme Court

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

SupremesFor three hours over two days, the Supreme Court discussed the freedom to marry. The justices asked questions about the law of the love after recent polling showed that 58 % of Americans, and a slew of moderate-to-conservative politicians, supported equality. This trend caught the attention of an unusually ascerbic Chief Justice, who said that leaders were "falling over themselves" to support gay rights. His convenient ignorance of the litany of burdens and discriminations we face every day, his insensitivity and willful ignorance of the plight of sexual minorities, and Roberta Kaplan's inadequate response to his flippancy should not damper the euphoric feeling that what happened this week was historic. The freedom to marry had a hearing at the Supreme Court, where the shallowness of discrimination was laid bare for the world to see. As we await favorable decisions in June, the world is a different place today than it was on Monday.

Many media are making conclusions about the end of DOMA, a narrow standing decision in the Prop 8 case, and the end of the culture wars with a victory for gay rights. Some of these predictions may turn out to be right, but we can't know that and it misses the true legal and political lessons from the last two days.

Having already offered detailed summaries and initial analysis of the Prop 8 (Part 1 and Part 2) and DOMA hearings (Part 1 and Part 2), I would like to take a step back and think more broadly. Here are the seven takeaways from Marriage Week at the Supreme Court.

1. The bench was "hot," asking lots of questions, but don't read too much into those questions.

Just because a justice asks a question critiquing one side's argument does not necessarily point to his or her ultimate decision. Judges play the devil's advocate for many reasons other than preening. If these cases were so open and shut, there would be no need for briefs, reply briefs, and oral argument; neither side ever has a perfect case. Therefore, the justices need to probe the logical, legal, and policy problems, not only to help them decide the case but also to determine the best way to decide the ultimate question. Oral argument questions are also just as much about persuading colleagues as challenging attorneys. Justice Ginsburg may have thought of something that the Chief Justice missed, or vice versa; Justice Sotomayor's demand that Paul Clement give her a single reason for discriminating against gay couples, and his inability to do so, may have worried the Chief and Justices Kennedy and Alito about siding with an impossibly weak argument.

SIX ADDITIONAL TAKEAWAYS, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Seven Takeaways from Marriage Week at the Supreme Court" »


News: Fiona Apple, Zach Wahls, Kato's 'Shocker', Cowboys

1NewsIcon Eagle Scout Zach Wahls and over 11,000 other Americans are calling on Intel to stop donating money to the Boy Scouts of America: "Until the Boy Scouts of America removes this hurtful policy that is inconsistent with its own principles, they do not deserve the financial backing of companies that strive for workplace equality -- especially innovators like Intel." Lend Wahls a hand by joining the Change.org campaign.

TimTebow1NewsIcon Does objectifying Tim Tebow make it easier to swallow his right wing proselytizing?

1NewsIcon Since the Dallas Cowboys didn't want to shell out the $275,000 to buy Cowboys.com, that domain is now a gay dating site - and it's open for business. Yee-haw!

1NewsIcon GOP House Speaker John Boehner says all the fuss over videos of Mitt Romney denigrating nearly half the nation is just "hand-wringing."

1NewsIcon Jeremy Hooper's clever commentary on all the actual right-wing hand-wringing about DADT's repeal.

1NewsIcon Karl Lagerfeld takes back saying he doesn't like Pippa Middleton's face. He now says he just doesn't like her make-up.

1NewsIcon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fully expects the court to hear a case on the Defense of Marriage Act in the very near future. "I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term," she said.

1NewsIcon Mitt Romney should have started playing nice a long time ago.

1NewsIcon Kato Kaelin now says that, yes, OJ Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron.

DrWho1NewsIcon The marriage equality debate would be much easier if it were just about watching Doctor Who on Sundays.

1NewsIcon Tom Ford and Anna Wintour attended an Obama fundraiser together in London. Just in case you're keeping tabs.

1NewsIcon Composer Nathan Hall needs help to 'Tame Your Man'.

1NewsIcon Rachel Maddow topped Bill O'Reilly - in Monday and Tuesday ratings, that is...

1NewsIcon Can Marco Rubio save Mitt Romney's campaign?

1NewsIcon Tommy Thompson, Tammy Baldwin's GOP opponent in the Wisconsin senate race, says Mitt Romney is to blame for his bad poll numbers: "If you're a standard-bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it's going to reflect on the down ballot."

1NewsIcon On a related note, President Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney by 7 points in Wisconsin, according to Public Policy Polling.

1NewsIcon A poll out of Maine shows pro-equality positions still in the majority, but the numbers are getting closer: 52-44, a far cry from the 20-point lead marriage equality had earlier this year.

FionaArrest1NewsIcon Fiona Apple was arrested in Texas for having some hash.

1NewsIcon LA Weekly has a great piece about the debate over whether discrimination really causes depression in minority groups.

1NewsIcon Meanwhile, the latest edition of Perspectives on Psychological Science reports on a study showing that, yes, prejudice can cause depression: "This depression caused by prejudice -- which the researchers call deprejudice -- can occur at many levels. In the classic case, prejudice causes depression at the societal level (e.g., Nazis' prejudice causing Jews' depression), but this causal chain can also occur at the interpersonal level (e.g., an abuser's prejudice causing an abusee's depression), or even at the intrapersonal level, within a single person (e.g., a man's prejudice against himself causing his depression)."

1NewsIcon Oh, good: another "invisible Obama" lynching.

1NewsIcon Enjoy some "Glory Box".


Did Justice Ginsburg Plant a 'Time Bomb' for Marriage Decision?

Did Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg set a "time bomb" for the inevitable SCOTUS marriage decision when she wrote, in the recent decision against Hasting Law School's Christian Legal Society in which the group was forced to abide by the school's anti-discrimination policy or be denied recognition? 

Ruthbaderginsburg Wrote Ginsburg:

“Our decisions have declined to distinguish between status and conduct in this context.”

That's what Adam Liptak suggests in a NYT article. A "time bomb", Liptak explains, was a phrase often utilized by Justice William Brennan Jr. in a decision "that would be exploited to [its] logical extreme in a later case."

Liptak suggests (as do the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case) that Ginsburg's discussion of status and conduct is important:

"Justice Ginsburg’s bland talk about status and conduct was significant because courts are more apt to protect groups whose characteristics are immutable. Calling sexual orientation a status may not require the conclusion that being gay is immutable rather than a choice, but it certainly suggests it."

While some are wary of reading forward with limited information, others see it as a good sign, and consider this detail as well:

"The Christian Legal Society decision was notable, too, because it was the only one in an argued case in the last term in which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s four more liberal members in a 5-to-4 decision. It is inconceivable that advocates for same-sex marriage can win in the current Supreme Court without his vote."


News: Marriage, Zac Efron, Houston, Natasha Richardson, Helsinki

 roadTop Citigroup and Morgan Stanley execs hold discussions to see how they can skirt government rules and keep their fat paychecks.

Marriage  roadSanctity: Arrested for choking his wife, while wearing "I [heart] My Marriage" T-shirt.

 roadClergy hold breakfast for legislators in Maine to press for marriage equality.

 roadJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to undergo chemotherapy.

 roadFormer girlfriend of Jesus Luz, on Madonna: "She is a ridiculous old bag, jumping around on stage at her age."

 roadMan fights for life after assault in Vancouver's gay village.

 roadActress Natasha Richardson critical after skiing accident...UPDATE: Not good.

 roadGuerrilla Gay Bar incident resolved in Houston. Bar: "Due to a miscommunication between management of Union Bar and Lounge and the door staff, we acknowledge that actions by the door staff caused an unintended perception of discriminatory actions towards the gay and lesbian community. We wholeheartedly did not want or intend for this to happen. We also acknowledge that this unintended action caused hurt and bad feeling within the gay and lesbian community towards Union Bar and it staff. We also extend this apology to all of our regular gay and lesbian customers who may have been hurt by this misunderstanding.”

 roadRihanna rumored to remake Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard with Channing Tatum.

Whitehouse  roadWhite House fountain flows green for St. Patrick's Day...

 roadCFDA: Biggest awards in fashion announced...

 roadLGBT youth to march in L.A. this Sunday.

 roadSci-Fi channel changing name to SyFy.

 roadNew anti-gay marriage amendment push to begin in Minnesota: "The amendment, which will be sponsored by several legislators, would give voters the opportunity to define marriage in Minnesota as between a man and a woman only. The Minnesota Family Council, legislators and other community groups are scheduled to unveil their plans at a news conference at the Capitol this morning."

 roadKylie Minogue wiggles it...

Zefron  roadZac Efron mudwrestles.

 roadMethodist Bishop and gay ally Melvin Wheatley dies at 93: "Wheatley was known for his sometimes unpopular stances on issues like gay rights and interfaith tolerance. In 1980, Wheatley publicly refused to support a statement by fellow Methodist bishops calling homosexuality 'incompatible with Christian teaching,' according to the Los Angeles Times."

 roadDetails looks at identical twin gay porn crime duo Keyon and Taleon Goffney...

 roadTrial: Rochester-area woman who killed a man after plowing her car into a crowd outside Nasty D's gay bar last summer claims she was just trying to break up a fight.

 roadHelsinki, Finland tries to improve its image as a gay-friendly city to attract tourists.

 roadNancy Pelosi asks Attorney General Eric Holder for help keeping newspapers afloat.


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