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message 1: by Alisa (last edited Nov 13, 2011 01:00PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) This thread is about Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all related topics.

President Bill Clinton chose Ruth Bader Ginsburg as his first appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Ginsburg was born Joan Ruth Bader on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the second daughter born to Nathan and Celia Bader. Sadly, Ginsburg's older sister died before she started school, leaving Ruth as an only child. The Brooklyn neighborhood in which the Baders lived consisted mostly of poor, working class Jewish, Italian, and Irish immigrants. Celia Bader taught her daughter Ruth, whom she called 'Kiki,' the value of independence and a good education. Ginsburg heeded her mother's advice and worked diligently in school. Her classmates remembered her in varying ways. Some recalled her beauty and popularity, which led to her selection to the twirling squad. Others remembered her as overly competitive, even to the point of annoyance. A secret hidden to all her classmates at the time was the fact that Celia Bader suffered from cancer during Ruth's high school years. Celia Bader passed away a day before her daughter's graduation ceremony. Ruth did not attend a "Forum of Honor" to which she was invited for graduating sixth in her class. Celia Bader left Ruth a relatively large sum of eight thousand dollars for her college tuition. Ginsburg, however, earned enough scholarships by that time to support herself. She gave most of the money to her father.

Ginsburg attended Cornell University after graduating from high school. There, she began dating Martin Ginsburg, who would become her husband. Their undergraduate years were uneventful. Martin enrolled at Harvard Law School upon his graduation while Ruth completed her senior year at Cornell. Halfway through the year, Martin received his draft notice. Ruth graduated first in her class from Cornell and the young couple married before moving to Fort Sill, in Lawton, Oklahoma, where Martin was stationed to serve in the Army. After Martin's discharge from the Army two years later, the couple returned to Harvard, where Ruth Ginsburg also enrolled in law school.

Ruth Ginsburg attended Harvard at a difficult time. In the era of harsh grillings by professors using the Socratic method, Ruth Ginsburg and her fellow women students found the school extremely hostile. At one point, Dean Erwin Griswold asked the women of the class what it felt like to occupy places that could have gone to deserving men. Still, Ginsburg overcame the derision and excelled academically. She received high grades and earned a position with the law review. Crisis struck when Martin developed testicular cancer and required extensive treatment with radiation and surgery. Ginsburg attended to her preschool daughter and her ill husband while maintaining her studies. She attended class for her husband and typed his papers as he dictated every word. After a difficult struggle, Martin recovered. He graduated from law school and accepted a position in a New York law firm. Ruth Ginsburg transferred from Harvard to Columbia Law School to continue her study. She made law review, becoming the first woman to achieve the honored position at two major schools. After a year at Columbia, Ginsburg graduated at the top of her class.

The years following her graduation from law school were spent in academic endeavors. Ginsburg worked for a few years as a research associate at Columbia Law School before joining the faculty at Rutgers University Law School in 1963. Ginsburg worked during this time to advance several feminist causes. While at Rutgers, she battled for maternity leave rights for schoolteachers in New Jersey. She also began an active participation in the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1972, Ginsburg became the first woman hired with tenure at Columbia Law School. She also became the first director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project that same year.

Ginsburg's star continued to rise as she joined many important committees and boards in various law associations across the country. During this time, she also began appearing before the Supreme Court where she would eventually argue a total of six cases for women's rights. After a brief stint as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California, Ginsburg President Jimmy Carter nominated Ginsburg to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit. She served as a federal appeals judge from 1981 until President Clinton nominated her to succeed retiring Justice Byron R. White. Clinton, impressed by Ginsburg's life story, praised her for her efforts in advancing women's rights.

While leaning towards the liberal side of the Court's political spectrum, Ginsburg has not hesitated to vote with her conservative colleagues. Ginsburg has shown a continuing willingness to promote women's rights from the High Court. Unlike other justices, Ginsburg relishes the opportunity to address the public in speeches, delivering her views eloquently and with a deep sense of commitment. There is little doubt that Ginsburg's position on women's rights, and civil liberties in general, will play an important role in many controversial issues to come.

[image error]

Personal Information
Wednesday, March 15, 1933

Childhood Location
New York

Childhood Surroundings
New York



Nathan Bader

Father's Occupation

Celia Amster

Family Status

Associate Justice


Nominated By

Commissioned on
Wednesday, August 4, 1993

Sworn In
Monday, August 9, 1993

New York

source: The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 13 November 2011. .

message 2: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Books about:

Raising the Bar Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU Women's Rights Project by Amy Leigh Campbell by Amy Leigh Campbell
Raising the Bar defines Ruth Bader Ginsburg's contribution to American constitutional law through her efforts as professor, lawyer, and women's rights advocate. Focusing on the years 1971 to 1980, it explores the decade during which Ginsburg founded and was general counsel to the ACLU Women's Rights Project. Several scholars have undertaken similar analyses in the past, but the missing ingredient has long been Ginsburg's own perspective, now available through her donation of private papers. Raising the Bar pinpoints Ginsburg's role in the progression of her complicated, multi-layered strategy to combat gender discrimination from theory to implementation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justices) by Bob Italia by Bob Italia
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (no photo) by Paul Mccaffrey

message 3: by Naomi V (new)

Naomi V (naomi_v) | 47 comments i wonder if you can re-size the photos before you post them? (to make them smaller) i get digest-form e-mails and the size of the photos sometimes causes the e-mails to be rejected. thanks.

message 4: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Naomi, thanks for the feedback. I was expecting this one to be smaller based on the source post. Will keep it in mind for the future.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Naomi; we like the photos on the pages to be larger for easier viewing. I am sorry that this is happening to you but sometimes these things happen with different aspects of the goodreads programs and we want them to be sized properly for the site. So my suggestion is for Alisa to leave them as is because that might create some problems for some other folks. When you come to the site; you can then see anything that the digest form rejected and I am sure that the digest form probably rejects quite a few things aside from just these photos. I know it is annoying and I sympathize with you but we plan to keep the photos the size they are. Hopefully the goodreads digest programming will catch us and possibly zip the photos to a manageable size for that goodreads option.

message 6: by Alisa (last edited Sep 17, 2013 02:02PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) In case you were wondering if the Justice would be retiring anytime soon . .

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Defend Equality Until She Simply Can't Anymore
The Huffington Post | By Ashley Alman

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will serve the court until her body slows and her mind quits, she said in an interview with Public Radio International's show "The Takeaway" on Monday.

"As long as I can do the work full steam, I will stay on the court," she said. "But when I feel myself slipping, when I slow down in my ability to write opinions with fair dispatch, when I forget the names of cases that I once could recite at the drop of a hat, I will know."

Ginsburg reflected on her 20 years as a justice, touting her commitment to making the principle of equality "everything the founders would have wanted it to be."

"I didn't change the Constitution, the equality principle was there from the start," she said. "I just was an advocate for seeing its full realization."

The 80-year-old justice credited timing for the advancement of equality, saying many of the principles she defends succeeded because society was ready to accept them.

"So it was the change in society that opened the court's eyes and made my arguments palatable when they would not have been a generation before," she said.

Earlier this month, Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex wedding. She said gay marriage highlights the "genius" of the U.S. Constitution.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
She is a wonder and we are lucky to her on the court.

message 8: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I admire her resiliency, intellect and determination.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Agreed and she is quite persuasive to those on the fence

message 10: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Scott Dodson by Scott Dodson(no photo)


Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a legal icon. In more than four decades as a lawyer, professor, appellate judge, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg has influenced the law and society in real and permanent ways.

This book chronicles and evaluates the remarkable achievements Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made over the past half century. Including chapters written by prominent court watchers and leading scholars from law, political science, and history, it offers diverse perspectives on an array of doctrinal areas and on different time periods in Ginsburg's career.

Together, these perspectives document the impressive legacy of one of the most important figures in modern law.

message 11: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Raising the Bar: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU Women's Rights Project

Raising the Bar Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU Women's Rights Project by Amy Leigh Campbell by Amy Leigh Campbell (no photo)


Raising the Bar defines Ruth Bader Ginsburg's contribution to American constitutional law through her efforts as professor, lawyer, and women's rights advocate. Focusing on the years 1971 to 1980, it explores the decade during which Ginsburg founded and was general counsel to the ACLU Women's Rights Project. Several scholars have undertaken similar analyses in the past, but the missing ingredient has long been Ginsburg's own perspective, now available through her donation of private papers. Raising the Bar pinpoints Ginsburg's role in the progression of her complicated, multi-layered strategy to combat gender discrimination from theory to implementation.

message 12: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4303 comments Mod
Sisters in Law: Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything

Sisters in Law Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything by Linda Hirshman by Linda Hirshman (no photo)


The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.

The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.

Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives.

Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.

message 13: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice An upcoming book
Release date: October 27, 2015

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon by Irin Carmon (no photo)


You can't spell truth without Ruth.
Only Ruth Bader Ginsburg can judge me.
The Ruth will set you free.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer's searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, created by the young lawyer who began the Internet sensation and an award-winning journalist, takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice's life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don't know, now you know.

message 14: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsberg became the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, Bader taught at Rutgers University Law School and then at Columbia University, where she became its first female, tenured professor. She served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s, and was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980. Named to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, she continued to argue for gender equality in such cases as United States v. Virginia.

Source: The History Channel

message 15: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Female Force: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Female Force Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Bill Mulligan by Bill Mulligan (no photo)


The Female Force series that features on extraordinary women that make a difference in society, features on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Since the Clinton administratim appointed her making her the second female to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. This comic book features her life story from the start!.

message 16: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Maker's Profile - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photograph USA Today

This is an interesting videotaped interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on breaking legal ground for women, her first case before the Supreme Court, and the support of her husband.



The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Scott Dodson by Scott Dodson (no photo)

Sisters in Law How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman by Linda Hirshman (no photo)

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Free to Be Ruth Bader Ginsburg The Story of Women and Law by Teri Kanefield by Teri Kanefield Teri Kanefield

Discussion Topics:

1. Were you surprised to hear Justice Ginsburg talk about how in spite of graduating at the top of her class both at Harvard and Columbia, that she was turned down by fourteen law firms?

2. As general counsel for the Women's Project with the ACLU, Justice Ginsburg argued and won her first case before the United States Supreme Court in 1974, Frontiero v. Richardson. What were your impressions as you listened to Justice Ginsburg related her experiences as she argued before the Supreme Court?

3. Looking at Justice Ginsburg's career, how important do you feel her contributions have been in breaking legal ground for women?

message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I guess I wasn't because it has been very hard for women - so many preconceived ideas about what a woman should be doing and what they can't be doing just because they are woman. Shame really. She was a ground breaking woman of her generation. She does say that she does not think that in today's hostile political environment that she would have been confirmed. She stated just the other day that it was very bipartisan back when she was confirmed and it is not now.

message 18: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Very interesting Bentley. Even though I was part of the feminist movement of the 1960's and 1970's, I still was shocked to hear that Justice Ginsburg was told that she better do well at Harvard because she was taking a slot away from a man. I fear that she may be right that she would have a harder time being confirmed today. Justice Ginsburg certainly has overcome a lot of barriers, not only for herself, but for all women. And besides, she's just delightful!

message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 29, 2017 06:50PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Isn't that unbelievable - it really is a shame - all of us who have nieces or who have daughters do not want them to encounter such blatant discrimination. She is very honest and Trump despises her.
I do not think she is keen on him either but cannot say too much although Scalia use to blather and babble all over the place on every topic known to man and get away with it. I guess he was Ginsburg's dearest friend on the bench even though they were entire opposites and they really had a beautiful friendship for all of these years and folks loved Scalia as a person.

message 20: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
On Justice Ginsburg’s Summer Docket: Blunt Talk on Big Cases

By ADAM LIPTAK July 31, 2017

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court.
(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the most outspoken member of the Supreme Court, sometimes to her regret. Last year, she issued a statement saying that her criticisms of Donald J. Trump during the presidential campaign had been ill advised. “In the future,” she said, “I will be more circumspect.”

She has stayed true to her word, to a point, but she remains blunt and candid. In a pair of recent appearances, Justice Ginsburg critiqued the Trump administration’s travel ban, previewed the coming court term, predicted an end to capital punishment and suggested that the other branches of government are in disarray.

Justice Ginsburg, 84, also described her grueling exercise routine, her link to a rap icon and her “graveyard” dissents.

The first appearance came two days after the Supreme Court issued a terse and cryptic unsigned order recalibrating how much of Mr. Trump’s travel ban could be enforced while court challenges to it move forward. The order was two sentences long, and you could figure out what it meant mostly by inference.

The bottom line was a split decision: The administration could continue to bar many refugees but had to allow travel from six predominantly Muslim countries by grandparents and other relatives of United States residents.

Supreme Court justices typically let rulings in pending cases speak for themselves. Justice Ginsburg, delivering prepared remarks on July 21 at a Duke University School of Law event in Washington, explained what the court had meant in some detail. She made clear that she considered the recent order a rebuke to the Trump administration, saying its policy had been “too restrictive.”

“Just this week, we clarified that closely related persons include grandparents,” she said. “We decided that the government had been too restrictive in what family relationships qualify as close.”

“The court also said,” Justice Ginsburg continued, apparently referring to an earlier ruling, “that other people who could not be brought under the ban include students admitted to U.S. universities, a worker who has accepted employment from a U.S. company and a lecturer invited to address a U.S. audience. As to those individuals, the executive order may not be enforced pending our decision in the cases we will hear in October.”

That last case, Gill v. Whitford, No. 16-1161, could reshape American politics. Justice Ginsburg said the court’s decision to hear the case was “perhaps the most important grant so far.”

“So far, the court has held race-based gerrymandering unconstitutional but has not found a manageable, reliable measure of fairness for determining whether a partisan gerrymander violates the Constitution,” she said.

In all, she said, “one can safely predict that next term will be a momentous one.”

The court was shorthanded for much of the past two terms, from the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 to the arrival of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch in April 2017.

The court mostly managed to avoid 4-to-4 deadlocks in the term that ended in June, rescheduling just two cases for reargument before a full court in the next term, starting in October. In general, Justice Ginsburg said, the justices try to achieve consensus, particularly in minor cases.

Read the remainder of the article at:


The RBG Workout A Supremely Good Exercise Program by Bryant Johnson by Bryant Johnson (no photo)

I Dissent Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy by Debbie Levy Debbie Levy

Source: The New York Times

message 21: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Sep 15, 2018 11:31AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
A Milestone for Ruth Bader Ginsburg For the first time ever, the justice had the honor of assigning a majority opinion for the Supreme Court.

By MARK JOSEPH STERN April 18, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Justice Neil Gorsuch voted with the Supreme Court’s liberals to strike down the key provision of a statute that allows the expulsion of certain noncitizens. The ruling in Sessions v. Dimaya was notable for throwing a wrench into the federal government’s deportation regime. It was also groundbreaking for another, less obvious reason: It marked the first time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg assigned a majority opinion in her nearly 25 years on the high court.

This milestone is long overdue. Justices receive the power to assign opinions as they gain seniority: The most senior justice in the majority gets to assign the opinion of the court, an important task with ramifications for the outcome of the case. Seniority is determined by years of service, though the chief justice is always considered the most senior. That means Ginsburg is currently the fourth most senior justice, following Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Ginsburg became the most senior liberal justice after Justice John Paul Stevens retired in 2010. Yet whenever she’s found herself in the majority in a 5–4 decision, another justice has been able to claim seniority. Occasionally, Roberts or Thomas joins the liberal justices. Kennedy, though, is usually the swing vote, and he likes to assign landmark progressive decisions—like the marriage equality rulings—to himself. If Justice Samuel Alito had given the liberals a fifth vote since Stevens’ retirement, Ginsburg could’ve assigned the opinion. But in his 12 years on the bench, Alito has not once joined the liberals in a 5–4 ruling.

When Gorsuch cast his vote in Dimaya, he gave Ginsburg a novel opportunity—the power to assign the opinion of the court. And not just any opinion but a hugely consequential decision strengthening the Due Process Clause’s guarantee against vague legislation. Ginsburg gave that task to Justice Elena Kagan, which is no surprise. Kagan is a brilliant writer who can thread the jurisprudential needle with eloquence and wit. She’s a canny strategist with moderate instincts and a knack for coalition-building. Kennedy and Thomas have, respectively, assigned Kagan opinions in big cases involving juvenile life without parole and racial gerrymandering. She hit both out of the park, pushing the law leftward without alienating her right-leaning colleagues.

When writing a majority opinion, a justice isn’t merely speaking for herself; she’s speaking for “the court,” effectively announcing the law of the land. When writing for a slim majority, she must often incorporate qualifications and concessions from her colleagues so she can retain their votes. We don’t yet know whether Kagan and Gorsuch wrangled over the language of the opinion, though such disputation wouldn’t be out of character for either. What we do know is that Kagan managed to hold onto Gorsuch’s vote, drawing this punctilious, idiosyncratic justice’s support for the bulk of her opinion.

Ginsburg had another plausible option when assigning Dimaya: She could’ve given it to Gorsuch. In 5–4 decisions, the senior-most justice sometimes assigns the majority opinion to the colleague most likely to defect, hoping to solidify his or her vote. There are a few reasons why Ginsburg might not have deployed that strategy here. First, Gorsuch’s reasoning did differ a bit from that of his liberal colleagues; if that distinction became clear at conference, when the justices discuss cases and cast votes, Ginsburg would’ve known to avoid handing him the majority opinion. Second, and relatedly, Ginsburg may have worried that Gorsuch would try to slip in language that could hurt progressive jurisprudence in other areas. Indeed, he wound up doing exactly that in his separate concurrence. As usual, Ginsburg made the right call.

There’s another path-breaking dimension to Ginsburg’s Dimaya assignment that the justice would probably appreciate: According to Adam Feldman, creator of Empirical SCOTUS, it marks just the sixth time that a female justice has been able to assign a majority opinion. The first woman on the court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, almost always found herself in the majority with either Stevens or Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and thus was only able to assign the majority opinion five times during her nearly quarter-century tenure. Of those cases, she assigned two to herself and two to Ginsburg, perhaps in a bid to rectify the grave gender disparity in case assignments. (Per Feldman, Ginsburg has now written 199 majority opinions.)

No one expects Gorsuch to join the liberals regularly in contested cases. And it’s worth noting that if Merrick Garland sat in the seat Gorsuch now occupies, Ginsburg would’ve routinely had the authority to perform this role, a privilege of which she was unjustly robbed. But Gorsuch has already demonstrated more ideological independence than Alito, and he seems poised to swing left at least once more this term. That means Ginsburg should have more opportunities to assign opinions—and further guide the direction of the law—in the twilight of her tenure.

Link to article:


The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Scott Dodson by Scott Dodson (no photo)

Source: Slate

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 15, 2018 11:38AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very thoughtful add Lorna


message 23: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Very thoughtful add Lorna

One nit - your fifth paragraph needs to be divided after the last word in the sentence - opinion."

Thanks Bentley.

message 24: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
A portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a young woman

By S.M./ PROSPERO - NEW YORK January 1, 2019

“On the Basis of Sex” is a bracing story of gender equality in America

FOR all her fame as the Supreme Court’s eldest and pluckiest member—she has inspired biographies, exhibitions and films as well as a workout, memes and gags on “Saturday Night Live”—Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fans may struggle to name a famous civil-liberties ruling that bears her name. There is one. Twenty-three years ago, Justice Ginsburg wrote the opinion that allowed women to apply to the Virginia Military Institute, America’s last all-male public university. But the sharp words that earned the diminutive justice the moniker “Notorious RBG” in recent years were penned in dissent, not for the court’s majority. Her memorable departures from her colleagues have come in rulings limiting abortion access and affirmative action, denying women equal pay, curbing contraception coverage and undermining the right to vote.

Justice Ginsburg’s oeuvre of elegant dissents is a reminder that the Supreme Court did not suddenly become conservative when Donald Trump’s two picks landed in their chairs in 2017 and 2018. It has been that way throughout her 25-year stint on the bench. “On the Basis of Sex”, Mimi Leder’s powerful new film (written by Daniel Stiepleman, the protagonist’s nephew) portrays Ms Ginsburg a generation before Bill Clinton elevated her from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to be America’s 107th justice. The 1960s and 1970s transformed the role of women in the law and the legal profession, and “RBG” would be key to many of the victories.

The story begins in 1956 as 500 students stride into Langdell Hall for their first day at Harvard Law School. One of only nine women in the class, Ms Ginsburg (played with tenacity and vulnerability by Felicity Jones) fields a question from the dean, Erwin Griswold (Sam Waterston) at a term-opening dinner. Why, Mr Griswold asked the budding lady lawyers, are you occupying a spot that could have gone to a man? So she could be a “more patient and understanding wife”, Ms Ginsburg retorted; after all her husband Marty Ginsburg (Armie Hammer) was a member of the second-year class.

She navigates motherhood, Marty’s testicular cancer and sexist insults before tying for first in her class at Columbia Law School (she followed Marty to New York where he landed a job as a tax attorney). Yet Ms Ginsburg finds herself shut out of jobs. Being a “woman, a mother and a Jew to boot”, as one potential employer puts it in the film, the legal wunderkind had three strikes against her. Ms Ginsburg eventually accepts a position at Rutgers Law School, where she taught from 1963 to 1972, and where her role as a trailblazer for gender equality was born.

“On the Basis of Sex” zeroes in on Moritz v Internal Revenue Service, the first case involving gender discrimination Ms Ginsburg would tackle—and the first case of any kind she would litigate. Choosing a tax case in a Colorado circuit court with stakes of under $300 as the lynchpin for a feature film may sound like an odd choice. Why didn’t the film-makers opt to focus on one of Ms Ginsburg’s half-dozen Supreme Court arguments on gender inequality (of which she won five)? For good reason. The easily overlooked Moritz brought attention to the Ginsburg marriage—an exemplary relationship of talented, loving equals that bears out the film’s arc. The case came to Ruth on Marty’s recommendation and the couple argued it side by side. Moritz was also a perfect example of the strategy that would inform Ms Ginsburg’s effort as head of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union: choosing one case at a time in which an individual suffered an injury due to a law that drew arbitrary distinctions between men and women.

The offending law in Moritz was a section of the Internal Revenue Code allowing working women to deduct funds spent on nursing care for elderly parents. The deduction was also available to men—but only if they had been married and divorced or lost their wives. Charles Moritz, a never-married travelling salesman caring for his 89-year-old mother in Denver, thought he deserved a tax break, too. The IRS thought otherwise, as did the US tax court. At the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ginsburgs teamed up to argue that Mr Moritz had been denied the equal protection of the law by Congress’s baseless differentiation between men and women. Against the federal government’s formidable defence of the targeted deduction—which included a list of 178 laws that would come under a cloud of unconstitutionality if Mr Moritz prevailed—the Ginsburgs persuaded the panel of three judges to expand the tax benefit to all caregivers, irrespective of their gender.

Link to remainder of article:


Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon by Irin Carmon Irin Carmon

Source: The Economist

message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hats off to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - we need her especially now.

Thank you Lorna for your add.

message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 09:19AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court for oral arguments - (thank God)

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
Updated 12:10 PM ET, Tue February 19, 2019

Washington (CNN)Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took the bench at the Supreme Court Tuesday morning to hear oral arguments for the first time since she announced she'd undergone surgery in December for cancer.

She smiled slightly to the audience and was wearing one of her decorative neck collars -- a pearl jabot.

Ginsburg's return comes in time for the last three months of oral arguments in a term that will feature big cases on partisan gerrymandering, religious liberty and the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Remainder of article:

Source: CNN

message 27: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Feb 19, 2019 11:14AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you Bentley. It is wonderful to see Justice Ginsburg back on the bench and wearing her pearl jabot.

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Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA in big win for Dreamers

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5-4 decision, dealing a big legal defeat to President Trump on the issue of immigration.

By Pete Williams and Adam Edelman

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5-4 decision, which deals a big legal defeat to President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, a major focus of his domestic agenda.

Roberts wrote in the decision that the government failed to give an adequate justification for ending the federal program. The administration could again try to shut it down by offering a more detailed explanation for its action, but the White House might not want to end such a popular program in the heat of a presidential campaign.

Remainder of article and video:

Source: NBC News

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DACA Supreme Court opinion:


Source: Supreme Court Opinions

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Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration In DACA Case

By NINA TOTENBURG June 18, 2020

Demonstrators arrive in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during a march in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Nov. 10. Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

A narrowly divided Supreme Court extended Thursday a life-support line to some 650,000 so-called DREAMers, allowing them to remain safe from deportation for now, while the Trump administration jumps through the administrative hoops that the court said are required before ending the program.

The vote was 5-to-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the decisive fifth vote that sought to bridge the liberal and conservative wings of the court.

Roberts and the court's four liberal justices said the Department of Homeland Security's decision to rescind DACA was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.

In his opinion, Roberts wrote: "The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may reconsider the problem anew."

Begun in 2012, the DACA program gave temporary protection from deportation to qualified individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Under the program, the DREAMers were allowed to work legally and apply for college loans if they met certain requirements and passed a background check.

President Trump sought to end the program shortly after he took office, maintaining that it was illegal and unconstitutional from the start.

But he was blocked by the lower courts and appealed to the Supreme Court, where Thursday the justices divided over both substance and timing.

The muddled state of play likely prevents the administration from enacting any plans to begin deportations immediately, but there is little doubt that should President Trump be reelected, the second-term president almost certainly would seek to end the program.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, wrote: "Today's decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision."

The court's decision presents a particularly delicate political problem for congressional Republicans just four months before the national election in November.

DACA has been an enormously popular program, with public opinion polls showing widespread support for it among Democrats, independents and Republicans.

DACA recipients have gotten advanced degrees; they have started businesses; they have bought houses, had children who are U.S. citizens; and 90% have jobs. Indeed, 29,000 are health care professionals, working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

So popular has the DACA program been that the Senate Republican leadership not once, but twice, worked closely with Democrats to work out a deal to protect the Dreamers, only to have Trump renege at the last moment.

What Trump will do before the November election is anyone's guess. The heart of his political base is opposed to immigration in just about every form. But this is no ordinary time.

Amid pandemic and racial crisis, the court's ruling is likely to focus on yet another issue where the president is at odds with public sentiment, while at the same time putting Republican officeholders between the rock of their president's views, and the hard place of their own reelection bids.

Link to article:
Link to DACA Decision:


Just Like Us The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe by Helen Thorpe Helen Thorpe

Source: NPR News

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Supreme Court Expands Religious-School Exemption From Civil-Rights Laws

Ruling is latest in a series of decisions elevating the role of religious exercise and sectarian institutions in American society

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

By JESS BRAVIN July 8, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Wednesday expanded religious schools’ exemption from civil-rights laws, the latest in a series of decisions elevating the role of religious exercise and sectarian institutions in American society.

The court, by a 7-2 vote, ruled that the First Amendment’s religion clauses immunize the schools from discrimination claims filed by teachers alleging they were fired because of age or disability. As religious institutions, the court found, the schools cannot be second-guessed by judges or juries regarding dismissal of teachers who help propagate the church’s beliefs.

“The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court. “Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate.”

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the opinion.

The court’s two most liberal members dissented.

“Two employers fired their employees allegedly because one had breast cancer and the other was elderly,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She challenged the majority’s view that “because the employees taught short religion modules at Catholic elementary schools, they were ‘ministers’ of the Catholic faith and thus could be fired for any reason, whether religious or nonreligious, benign or bigoted, without legal recourse.”

Federal courts long have recognized a “ministerial exception” to antidiscrimination laws, reasoning that religious-freedom rights bar the government from a role in selecting members of the clergy, even indirectly by allowing private lawsuits over practices that are illegal in other workplaces.

In 2012, the Supreme Court itself recognized the ministerial exception, and found that it applied to a teacher at a Lutheran school who had received religious training and been granted the title “Minister of Religion, Commissioned.” The unanimous decision meant the teacher couldn’t file a discrimination claim.

The new ruling expands that principle to lay teachers who perform “important religious functions,” such as parochial-school teachers who provide instruction in the Catholic religion alongside other subjects.

This 2009 photo provided by the Biel family, shows the late Kristen Biel, at her graduation party, with her husband Darryl Biel and their two children, Dylan and Delaney.

“What matters, at bottom, is what an employee does,” Justice Alito wrote, not the formal title she carries. “In a country with the religious diversity of the United States, judges cannot be expected to have a complete understanding and appreciation of the role played by every person who performs a particular role in every religious tradition. A religious institution’s explanation of the role of such employees in the life of the religion in question is important.”

The decision involves separate lawsuits by teachers alleging disability or age discrimination by parochial schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In one case, St. James School in Torrance, Calif., declined to renew teacher Kristen Biel’s contract after she told superiors she had contracted breast cancer and required time off for treatment. She died in 2019 and her widower continued the lawsuit.

The other case was filed by Agnes Morrissey-Berru, whose contract wasn’t renewed by Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after she entered her 60s.

“Both their schools expressly saw them as playing a vital part in carrying out the mission of the church, and the schools’ definition and explanation of their roles is important,” Justice Alito wrote.

The decision is the second victory for religious schools as the high court’s term winds down. Last week, the court, voting 5-4 along conservative-liberal lines, held that a state tax-credit program for private schools must be opened to religious schools, despite a state constitution provision barring public support for church schools.

Link to article:


Uncertain Justice The Roberts Court and the Constitution by Laurence H. Tribe by Laurence H. Tribe (no photo)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Supreme Court says Trump can weaken Obamacare contraceptive mandate

By ARIANE DE VOGUE July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court in Washington. | Mark Tenally/AP

(CNN) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the Trump administration to expand exemptions for employers who have religious or moral objections to complying with the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

The 7-2 ruling reverses a lower court decision that had blocked Trump's move nationwide.

The ruling is a win for President Donald Trump, who has vowed to act aggressively to protect what he and other conservatives frame as religious liberty, as well as for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic religious order for women who, along with the Trump administration, asked the court to step in.

It came the same day the court also sided with religious schools in a different case, ruling that teachers at religious institutions aren't covered by employment discrimination laws.

The Little Sisters case required the justices to balance concerns for women's health care against claims of religious liberty. The law requires that employer-provided health insurance plans cover birth control as a preventive service at no cost.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, wrote that the justices held that the government "had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption." He was joined in full by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Thomas commended the Little Sisters of the Poor for their efforts.

"For the past seven years, they -- like many other religious
objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today's decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs," he wrote.

Thomas continued, "After two decisions from this Court and multiple failed regulatory attempts, the Federal Government has arrived at a solution that exempts the Little Sisters from the source of their complicity-based concerns -- the administratively imposed contraceptive mandate."

Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan agreed with the court's judgment but under different rationale. They said that the Trump administration had the authority to issue a rule expanding exemptions from the contraceptive mandate, but suggested that a lower court might still find that the government's rule was "arbitrary and capricious."

"That issue remains open for the lower courts to address," Breyer wrote.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the Court's opinion, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

"Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree," Ginsburg wrote.

"This Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer's insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets," she said and noted that the government had acknowledged that the rules would cause thousands of women to lose coverage.

The dispute -- the latest concerning the Affordable Care Act to come before the justices -- pit supporters of the contraceptive provision against those who said it violated their religious and moral beliefs.

Churches and some other religious entities could get an exemption and others such as religious universities, hospitals or charities with religious objections get an accommodation. The accommodation means that plan participants could still receive the coverage, but it would be paid for by the insurer or employer's health insurance administrator.

Over 61.4 million women in the US have birth control coverage with zero out-of-pocket costs, according the National Women's Law Center.

After Trump took office, the government moved in 2017 to allow exemptions for more employers.

Under the religious exception rule, any private employer, including publicly traded corporations, could receive exemptions based on a "sincerely held religious belief." A second rule extends the same provision to organizations and small businesses that have objections "on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief."

By the government's own estimate, between 75,000 to 125,000 women would lose coverage. At oral arguments held over the phone because of the coronavirus, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- participating from a hospital bed because of a gall bladder condition -- lambasted the government's position, arguing it would leave women "to hunt for other government programs that might cover them."

Pennsylvania and other states challenged the federal government move in court, arguing in part that they would have to step in and provide coverage for women seeking coverage.

A federal appeals court blocked the rules nationwide, holding that the states would suffer irreparable harm and "unredressable financial consequences" from subsidizing contraceptive services and "providing funds for medical care associated with unintended pregnancies." The court said that the states' financial injury "outweighs any purported injury to religious exercise."

The Trump administration and the Little Sisters of the Poor asked the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court.

Link to remainder of article:
Link to videotape:


Landmark The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law-The Affordable Care Act-and What It Means for Us All by The Washington Post by The Washington Post (no photo)

Source: CNN

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Daniel Lewis Lee executed after Supreme Court clears the way for first federal execution in 17 years


In this Oct. 31 1997, photo, Daniel Lewis Lee waits for his arraignment hearing for murder in the Pope County Detention Center in Russellville, Ark.

(CNN)Daniel Lewis Lee, a convicted killer, was executed Tuesday morning in the first federal execution in 17 years after the Supreme Court issued an overnight ruling that it could proceed.

Lee was pronounced dead by the coroner at 8:07 a.m. ET in Terrre Haute, Indiana. His last words were "I didn't do it. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life but I'm not a murderer. You're killing an innocent man," according to a pool report.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for the resumption of the federal death penalty in an unsigned order released after 2 a.m. ET Tuesday.

The court wiped away a lower court order temporarily blocking the execution of Lee in a 5-4 vote.

Lee, a one-time white supremacist who killed a family of three, was scheduled to be executed Monday. A federal judge blocked the planned execution of Lee, and three others, citing ongoing challenges to the federal government's lethal injection protocol.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit late Monday refused the Justice Department's request to stay the injunction. The Justice Department had appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment on the court's ruling.

The Supreme Court said that the death row inmates, including Lee, bringing the case "have not established that they are likely to succeed" in their challenge in part because the one drug protocol proposed by the government -- single dose pentobarbital -- has become a 'mainstay' of state executions."

Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reiterated in one dissent something he has said before: he thinks it's time for the court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty.

"The resumption of federal executions promises to provide examples that illustrate the difficulties of administering the death penalty consistent with the Constitution," he said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Elena Kagan and Ginsburg, wrote separately to criticize the court's "accelerated decision making "

"The court forever deprives respondents of their ability to press a constitutional challenge to their lethal injections," she said.

Three other appeals seeking to delay the execution are also pending at the Supreme Court. One concerns the family of Lee's victims who are concerned about traveling and going to a federal prison during the coronavirus pandemic. A second regards evidence presented by prosecutors during his sentencing hearing.

In 2019, Attorney General William Barr moved to reinstate the federal death penalty after a nearly two decade lapse.

Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to move forward with executions of some "death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly." The scheduled executions reignited legal challenges to the specific protocol used in executions and reinvigorated a debate concerning the constitutionality of lethal injection.

Earlene Peterson -- whose daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law were tortured, killed and dumped in a lake by Lee and an accomplice -- has opposed Lee's execution, telling CNN last year that she did not want it done in her name.


Just Mercy A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson by Bryan Stevenson Bryan Stevenson

Source: CNN

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The Lasting Legacy of Justice Louis D. Brandeis

A hundred years have passed since the first minority was appointed to the Supreme Court

By FREDERICK M. LAWRENCE February 9, 2016

Louis Brandeis , early 20th Century. (Photo: Wikipedia)

We recently marked the 100th anniversary of Louis D. Brandeis’ nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a year of discussion on diversity, this moment deserves notice—Brandeis, who was Jewish, was the first member of an American minority group to be so chosen. Most of all, Brandeis commands our attention today because his opinions still influence our sitting justices and our law. No better example of this can be found than the words that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at a celebratory conference I just moderated at Brandeis University.

Many legal scholars addressed Brandeis’ continued relevance, but the real stars of the event were “the Notorious RBG,” as Ginsburg biographers Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon have lovingly dubbed her, and the man we may now call “the notorious LDB.”

Justice Ginsburg described the influence on her own career of the first “Brandeis brief” in Muller v. Oregon, the basis of the Supreme Court’s historic decision to uphold Oregon’s law regulating the maximum hours that women could be required to work. Ginsburg revealed how this work challenged her during her earliest days as a young attorney fighting for women’s rights, teaching her to ground her argument in facts, statistics and social history. While she came to realize that Brandeis’ argument in Muller actually limited women’s rights, she followed his example on how to write and how to argue. This was precisely the approach that allowed her to prevail before the court in Reed v. Reed in 1971, the first case to extend the reach of the Equal Protection Clause to cases of gender-based discrimination. So many lawyers and justices are limited by their preoccupation with theory and abstraction. For Brandeis and Justice Ginsburg, both brilliant lawyers before becoming influential justices, theory must be grounded in facts.

Our panel recognized the issues that Brandeis would face today, especially in light of the challenges to privacy presented by technology or threats to national security. Brandeis will forever be linked with the legal protection of privacy, widely accepted today as a fundamental aspect of our legal system. When he and his law partner, Samuel Warren, wrote “The Right to Privacy,” in 1890, they essentially created a new right, basing it in its deep legal and philosophical roots, as well as common law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, center, at Brandeis University.

Brandeis’ role as influential writer went beyond his legal scholarship. Economic events of the past decade have brought renewed interest in his 1914 classic Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It. The ideas and analysis proposed there had—and still have—a major impact on the discussion of financial regulations and legislation governing the financial industry.

Among the aspects of constitutional law that continue to bear Brandeis’ unmistakable stamp are judicial restraint in the face of legislative decision-making and experimentation, and the need for constitutional norms to adjust and adapt to evolving standards and contexts. He dissented in Olmstead v. United States in which the Court held that constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply to telephone wiretapping. Notably, the Court overturned Olmstead years later.

Brandeis’ judicial brilliance may be most keenly demonstrated in the area of freedom of expression. In Whitney v. California, he wrote a concurring opinion that the answer to “falsehood and fallacies” is “more speech, not enforced silence,” a powerful insight in a time of shouting down others more than engaging in true debate. Whereas some, like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., saw the ultimate value of free expression as flowing from a “marketplace of ideas” that would produce the best results, Brandeis saw the value of expression as flowing from the very nature of a political and social community. To participate in public debate is not merely to try to reach the best idea but also to participate in civil society altogether.

For any one of these aspects of the life of Louis Brandeis—lawyer, scholar, justice—we would remember him today as a figure of insight, creativity and moral courage. His words challenge us still: “If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.”

Link to article:


Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It (The Bedford Series in History and Culture) by Louis D. Brandeis by Louis D. Brandeis Louis D. Brandeis

Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon by Irin Carmon Irin Carmon

Source: Observer

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Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

People gather at a makeshift memorial for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bather Ginsburg on the steps of the Supreme Court on Sept. 18, 2020.Alex Edelman / AFP - Getty Images

The court said Ginsburg died "surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer."

Video Address:

Sept. 18, 2020, 7:42 PM EDT / Updated Sept. 18, 2020, 10:23 PM EDT
By Elizabeth Chuck, Alex Johnson and Dareh Gregorian
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice who was as pioneering as she was brash, died Friday, the high court said. She was 87.

The court said Ginsburg, a lifelong champion of women's rights and a fierce advocate for gender equality, died "surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer."

Chief Justice John Roberts said: "Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Despite her diminutive stature — she was reportedly only 5-foot-1 — Ginsburg was larger than life, both on and off the bench.

Viewed as a feminist icon, she broke countless barriers, never shying away from making contentious comments along the way with everything from her high court opinions to her octogenarian workout routines. Her refusal to hold her tongue earned her the nickname the "Notorious R.B.G." by her rabid fan base.

Diagnosed with cancer four times, Ginsburg had had numerous health scares, including several recent hospitalizations. Her death will open a pivotal seat on the court less than 50 days before the presidential election.

In her final days, according to NPR, Ginsburg dictated one final dig at President Donald Trump to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, declaring, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

But hours after her death Friday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has no intention of waiting and will put forward whoever Trump nominates.

"President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," McConnell said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed Ginsburg as "a champion for justice" and a "trailblazer" for women and tweeted, "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

The line was the exact same phrase McConnell used in 2016 to block then-President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Ginsburg's death devastated her followers. Outside the Supreme Court Friday night, crowds gathered in an impromptu memorial for her.

The news broke as Trump was speaking at a rally in Minnesota. Unaware of her death, he said during his speech that "the Supreme Court is so important. The next president will get one, two, three, or four supreme court justices."

After learning the news, Trump told reporters, "I'm actually saddened to hear that."

"Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life," Trump said.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, said Ginsburg "stood for all of us," praising the obstacles she overcame early in her career.

"She never failed. She was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of the civil and legal rights of, the civil rights, of everyone," he said.

As for her successor, Biden added: "The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider."

Former President George W. Bush issued a statement saying "Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law. Laura and I are fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazer, and we send our condolences to the Ginsburg family."

Despite her ailing health — Ginsburg had announced in July that she was being treated for cancer — she made a public appearance as recently as the end of August, when she officiated an outdoor wedding of a family friend.

A sharp-tongued moderate liberal, Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 after being confirmed by a Senate vote of 96 to 3. She had repeatedly vowed to stay on as long as her health permitted, even when some liberals pressured her to step down during the Obama administration so a Democratic president could be guaranteed to appoint her successor.

“Tell me who the president could have nominated this spring that you would rather see on the court than me?” was the justice's tart response at the time.

Those who faced her ire were offered no protection by political prowess or fame. She once called then-presidential candidate Trump a "faker" and publicly criticized NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand during the national anthem. She later apologized for the criticism of Trump and of Kaepernick.

Despite ruffling some feathers, Ginsburg had a fervent following, with devotees who cared about her rigorous fitness regimen almost as much as they cared about how she voted on the high court. Her likeness appeared on female empowerment T-shirts and other paraphernalia.

Ginsburg, who was only the second female justice to sit on the nation's highest court, was a fierce crusader for women's rights. She credited her mother, who died of cancer a day before Ginsburg graduated from high school, with influencing her advocacy for women.

"My mother told me two things constantly: One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The latter was something very unusual ... because for most girls growing up in the 1940s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your 'M.R.S.,'"

Her path to the Supreme Court was laden with obstacles.

Born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, Ruth Joan Bader graduated with a degree in government at top of her class from Cornell University in 1954, the same year she married her college sweetheart, Martin Ginsburg, who became a leading tax lawyer.

The couple moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was stationed with the Army Reserve. She worked for the Social Security Administration — only to be demoted after becoming pregnant with their first child, who was born in 1955.

Returning East, Ginsburg enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1956 before transferring to Columbia Law School. She tied for first in her class when she received her law degree in 1959. But when she applied for jobs afterward, she discovered that most law firms didn't want her, despite her sparkling credentials.

"In the Fifties, the traditional law firms were just beginning to turn around on hiring Jews. But to be a woman, a Jew and a mother to boot — that combination was a bit too much," she once wrote.

Ginsburg eventually got a job clerking for U.S. District Judge Edmund Palmieri in Manhattan before she moved to Rutgers University, where she was a law professor from 1963 to 1972.

She became pregnant with her second child while teaching at Rutgers, and, fearing she would get fired, hid her growing stomach by wearing baggy clothes. She gave birth over summer break in 1965 and returned to work in the fall. She then taught at Columbia, where she became the university's first female tenured professor.

Ginsburg devoted herself to reversing the social norms that had made her own career so difficult.

In 1972, the Ginsburgs — Martin Ginsburg, who died from cancer in 2010, was a highly respected tax lawyer in his own right — led the legal team that successfully argued an appeal on behalf of a man who was denied a tax deduction for dependent-care expenses related to his support for his 89-year-old mother.

Remainder of article:

Sources: NBC News, Photos - CNN (no other details given)

message 38: by Jan (new)

Jan Rest In Peace, RBG. Thank you for your devotion.

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Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Jan, so true. In fact, she has been such a fixture in my mind for what is good about the Supreme Court that I honestly cannot wrap my mind around the fact that she is gone. She had such a presence and impact.

message 40: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

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The bittersweet beauty of RBG's passing on Rosh Hashanah

By ELLIOT WILLIAMS September 19, 2020

It is nothing short of poetic that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Rosh Hashanah.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on February 10, 2020 / AP

It is far above my, or anyone else's, pay grade to try to divine greater meanings about death. However, we will all die. And there is something beautiful about the fact that an irreplaceable American jurist's final moment fell on one of the holiest days her faith recognizes.

She deserved nothing less. By any measure, she was a trailblazer, a beloved colleague, a matchless legal mind. Perhaps it's fitting for a superlative life to end on a day that many people see as superlative itself.

Notably, the central prayer of Rosh Hashanah is that "on Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur (which follows 10 days later) it is sealed" what individuals' fates will be for the next year. That, too, is oddly prophetic for the moment we face right now.

The decisions our leaders -- particularly President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans -- will make over the next several days are far bigger than whether and how one individual might fill one vacancy on the court. They will come down to whether the people who have been entrusted with our government have a shred of the dignity and honesty that our great country -- and Justice Ginsburg's legacy -- deserves.

It doesn't look good. Within hours of Justice Ginsburg's passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement vowing to bring a Trump nominee for the seat to a vote. After his role in blocking President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the court in 2016, McConnell's mental gymnastics in justifying his decision would be laughable if their implications weren't so tragic. Likewise, we will be owed an explanation from any Senator who supported the decision to block Garland's nomination in 2016, but is willing to proceed today. Their inevitable dishonesty will set the tone for the months to come.

The next days will also be an opportunity for Democrats to demonstrate -- finally -- to the American people that federal courts matter to them. I have written in this forum and otherwise argued that Democrats have historically not been as animated about the courts as Republicans are. However, a recent Fox News poll shows that voters now trust Joe Biden more than they trust President Trump on nominations, by a sizeable margin. Public opinion over what will surely be a brutal Supreme Court fight will be shaped over the next several days; now is Democrats' chance to take control of it.

Justice Ginsburg was a principled defender of justice for all. While she fought against the power structure, she always had faith in our underlying systems. Systems that rely on the honesty and integrity of the people behind them. The next several days will put that faith -- and the people charged with upholding it -- to the test.

Link to the article:


Conversations with RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law by Jeffrey Rosen by Jeffrey Rosen (no photo)

Source: CNN, AP

message 41: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1144 comments Gracious, Lorna, thank you for that post! RBG truly was a great American.

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Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you, Andrea. Yes, what a difference Justice Ginsburg has made in all of our lives in her relentless pursuit of justice and civil rights for all. She will be truly missed.

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Ginsburg breaks one final barrier as first woman to lie in state at Capitol

By KAROUN DEMIRJIAN September 25, 2020

Many of the women in Congress line the steps of the Capitol to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she was carried in her casket to lie in state Friday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg broke one last glass ceiling Friday, becoming the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol as lawmakers and members of the military paid tribute to her trailblazing career that changed the face of gender equality in the United States.

Many of Congress’s female members, Capitol Hill aides, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the Joint Chiefs of Staff solemnly walked past Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket in Statuary Hall, honoring the diminutive justice who was “monumental in impact,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described her.

“Her life and leadership cemented the truth that all men and women are created equal,” Pelosi said in a statement issued after brief remarks at the ceremony.

Ginsburg, who served for 27 years and was the second female justice on the Supreme Court, died Sept. 18 at 87 of complications from cancer. She will be buried in a private ceremony next week at Arlington National Cemetery alongside her husband, Marty.

Her casket rested upon the Lincoln catafalque as Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt offered a eulogy and Denyce Graves, one of opera aficionado Ginsburg’s favorite singers, offered a traditional spiritual, “Deep River,” and a patriotic song, “American Anthem,” in somber serenade.

Former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife, Jill, traveled to the Capitol to honor Ginsburg.

But it was the women of Congress who played the most noticeable — albeit silent — role, making up the majority of the invitation-only guests at the brief memorial service. When Ginsburg’s casket departed the Capitol, the lawmakers stood in line on the steps of the East Front, hands over their hearts, to bid her farewell.

“What she did for women not only has changed our country, but I think has changed the world,” said Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), who was one of a handful of Republican women to pay their respects to Ginsburg.

Lying in state is the United States’ highest form of tribute, normally reserved for presidents, military leaders and other distinguished lawmakers. Ginsburg is only the second Supreme Court justice to receive the honor; the late president William Howard Taft, who also was chief justice, lay in state in 1930.

“Look at all the men on the Supreme Court — I doubt that this kind of tribute will be paid to any of them,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who was assistant legal director at the ACLU shortly before Ginsburg launched its Women’s Rights Project, where she argued six landmark gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court. She won five, cementing equal access to mortgages, banking services, jury representation and pension, caregiving and military benefits.

“Her most brilliant work was done in winning those five women’s rights cases,” Holmes Norton said.

Female lawmakers said the precedent-setting recognition for Ginsburg was a testament to how dramatically women’s rights have changed as a result of her lifetime crusade.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) recalled how earlier this summer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the youngest woman in Congress, delivered a floor speech to protest an insult from a male congressman and a “culture” that normalizes “violent language against women.”

“If I had done that when I was younger, I would have been fired, I wouldn’t have had a job . . . people do not understand that that was really the experience of a lot of people of my generation,” Dingell said, reflecting on Ginsburg’s work. “She brought to the courts, to everything that she did — she experienced it . . . and she is the first generation. I am where I am because she helped open the doors.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the youngest Republican woman in Congress, said she credited Ginsburg and the women of her generation with paving the way for others to break barriers, “even if you disagreed with some of her decisions.”

“She really lived so many generational changes that women faced,” Stefanik said. “She’s the first but she will not be the last to lie in state.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart by Jane Sherron De Hart (no photo)

Source: The Washington Post

message 44: by dm (new)

dm (deyaniralmarte) | 1 comments ooohhh i’m SO EXCITED to have found this group!

message 45: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you, Deyanira. We are happy that you have found our group as well.

If you have not had a chance to introduce yourself, you may want to take a few minutes to tell us about yourself and your interests in history. I have attached a link for your convenience as follows:

message 46: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1144 comments Lorna, thank you for that earlier, poignant post. It is a fitting tribute to one whose life we wish to honor.

message 47: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you, Andrea. It was only fitting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shattered one more glass ceiling in our nation's final tribute to her, someone who dedicated her life to fighting for equality for all. Her powerful voice will be missed.

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