Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

            Ruth Bader Ginsburg, current associate justice on the United States Supreme Court, was born Ruth Joan Bader on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents are Nathan and Celia Bader, and the family lived in “a low-income, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn.” Her mother was a “major influence in her life” and “taught her the value of independence and a good education.

            By following her mother’s counsel, Ginsburg “excelled in her studies” at James Madison High School in Brooklyn. However, her mother passed away from cancer the day previous to Ginsburg’s graduation. Ginsburg attended and graduated from Cornell University in 1954 with a degree in government. That same year, she married law student Martin D. Ginsburg, had her first child, and saw her husband drafted into the military, a law student. After Martin’s discharge two years later, the couple went to Harvard.

At Harvard, Ginsburg learned to balance life as a mother and her new role as a law student. She also encountered a very male-dominated, hostile environment, with only eight other females in her class of more than 500. The women were chided by the law school’s dean for taking the places of qualified males. But Ginsburg pressed on and excelled academically, eventually becoming the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

            Martin graduated from Harvard and accepted a position at a law firm in New York City. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School where she graduated first in her class in 1959. She continued to face gender discrimination while seeking employment after graduation. She clerked for U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri (1959-61) and taught at Rutgers University Law School (1963-72) and at Columbia (1972-80). She worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and “argued landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court.” She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and served there until 1993 when she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton.

            I am writing about Ginsburg because she is 85 years old and looks to be the next justice to replace. Her hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee were described as “unusually friendly,” and she was confirmed with a vote of 96-3. The description of her Senate hearing is much different than I would describe Kavanaugh’s hearing, which was not at all friendly.

            Even Ginsburg thinks the Democrats were out of order in Kavanaugh’s hearing. I wonder how crazy it will be when Donald Trump nominates another constitutionalist to replace her! As Peter Skurkiss points out, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed 54-45 and replaced “conservative giant on the Court” Antonin Scalia – sort of conservative for conservative. Anthony Kennedy was known as the swing vote, and there have been hysterics about Trump replacing him with a conservative constitutionalist, obviously moving the Court to the right. If Trump, or any other President, nominates a conservative to replace Ginsburg, the Left will go ballistic! In order to put a conservative justice in her seat, we need more Republicans in the Senate!

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