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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg And The ‘Genius’ Of The Constitution

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understands the Constitution better than her colleague Justice Antonin Scalia, or at least the intentions of the Founders with regards to it.

Ginsburg was the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. She officiated at a friend’s wedding a week ago.

Ginsburg told an audience in Philadelphia that “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.” She also said that equality was central to the Constitution and always had been, and that this was the case even though it took time for minorities to be included in that equality.

Ginsburg is correct in that the Founders saw the Constitution as a living document rather than a static and dead one. Her colleague Justice Scalia tends to view it as a dead document. Ginsburg has been more forceful in her writings on the subject lately, and caused her to gain a loyal following.

Supreme_Court_US_2010NY University Law Student Shana Knizhnik told reporters that “Her story’s so amazing and inspiring. The work she continues to do and fight for, despite the rightward direction the court seems to be going in. Especially seeing a woman up there is so great. I would love to have even a fraction of the career she’s had.”

Ginsburg has been vocal about the activist nature of the Court, especially since her fellow Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, retired. Ginsburg said of her colleague that “The year she left us, in every case where I was among the four, if she had remained, I would have been among the five. So her leaving the court made an enormous difference.”

She said of the Voting Rights Act decision that it is “example of striking down legislation on a subject that the people in the political arena are better informed about than the court is.”

The 80-year-old Justice plans to continue on in the Court for the foreseeable future.

 

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