When the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ voter identification law last Saturday, one Justice was extremely upset. Now Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about the future of the Supreme Court.
Saturday’s six to three decision was representative of how politicized the Court has become. Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a moderate, cast his vote with the Republican appointed Justices.
Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissenting viewpoint. She was upset with the members of the Court who voted to allow Texas to demand voters present one of seven forms of identification in order to cast their votes. She called the law ‘discriminatory,’ and claims that it is purposefully directed at Hispanics and African-Americans.
Though Texas claims that the legislation is intended to help with the growing problem of voter fraud, they cite an issue that is virtually non-existent. The percentage of voter fraud is less than .02 percent.
Recently Justice Ginsburg displayed her humorous side. She granted NPR an interview. She recounted how lonely she felt after Sandra Day O’Connor retired. She said she felt more like a curiosity. When Nina Totenberg asked her how many female Justices would be ‘enough,’ she did not hesitate and said “nine.” Justice Ginsburg noted that for most of our nation’s history all nine of the Justices were men.
They discussed the now famous “Notorious RBG” t-shirts, which also displays a drawing of Justice Ginsburg. She said she now has so many of them she gives them away as gifts. The shirts are printed by a blog which bears the name on the shirts. It was founded after her famous attack on the ‘Hobby Lobby’ last June.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. She served the court until she was President Bill Clinton’s nominee for the Supreme Court in 1993. The United States Senate confirmed her by a 96-3 vote.
When Justice John Paul Stevens retired in 2010, Justice Ginsburg became the eldest member of the Court. Washington insiders expected her to retire soon. She was 77 year old, and had some health problems. In an interview that same year she denied any intention of retiring before 2012, and that being on the bench was helping her cope with the death of her husband. She also noted that she had always emulated Justice Louis Brandeis who retired at 82 after serving 23 years, but now she had a new hero, Justice Stevens, who retired at the age of 90 and served almost 35 years on the Court.
Justice Ginsburg is 81 years old.
Prior to her becoming a judge, she was an advocate for women’s rights. She also volunteered for the American Civil Liberties Union. She is considered a liberal member of the nine person court.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a view about the future of the Supreme Court; it would be more amenable to the rights of women and minorities, and all of the Justices would have feminine clothing under their robes.
By James Turnage