A lot of people are happy that Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but Emily Bazelon from Slate found someone in particular who is pretty psyched: the only woman presently sitting on the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Ever since Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired three years ago, Ginsberg has represented the XX chromosomes on the most important bench in the country with her colleagues—eight men. She spoke with Bazelon for the New York Times‘ Sunday magazine about why the Supreme Court should have more women on it, why women might judge differently than men do, and her concerns about reproductive rights and the legality of abortion.
We collected nine bits of Ginsberg-ian wisdom, after the jump. [The New York Times Magazine] Keep reading »
In 2003, Savanna Redding was 13 when a classmate was caught with prescription strength ibuprofen and told her school administrators she bought the pills from Savanna. So school officials searched Savanna’s backpack. When they found nothing, two female employees took her to the bathroom and strip-searched her to her bra and underwear. Still nothing. So they had Savanna take off her undies and shake them out.
Redding’s mother sued the school district for violating her daughter’s 4th amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. And the case made it all the way up to the Supreme Court. It’s taken six years, but the court has finally made a ruling: this strip search was not okay. Keep reading »
Just how much does gender influence the way a judge makes decisions?
The New York Times tried to tackle this behemoth question—as it pertains to Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court—in one tight little article this weekend. And while we hate to nitpick, the title alone kinda pissed us off: “Debate On Whether Female Judges Decide Differently Arises Anew.”
Of course men and women are different. We have different life experiences, different hormones coursing through our bodies, and different ideas of what constitutes a clean bathtub. But our problem when talking about differences is more of a semantic one: why is being a male considered “normal,” but being a female is considered “different”? We don’t like the implication of phrases like “will Sotomayor decide differently” or “does Ginsberg decide differently?”, as if decisions made by males are status quo and what should be normal. How did being of the less-represented gender equal some kind of bias? Keep reading »
A 51-year-old anti-abortion activist is in custody in Wichita, KS, after he allegedly shot and killed Dr. George Tiller, 67. Tiller, who had provided abortions to women for over 30 years, was gunned down in the foyer of his church while he passed out the church bulletin. [NY Times]
Some anti-choice extremists think all doctors who perform any abortions should be killed. But Dr. Tiller, in particular, was a lightening rod for controversy because he was one of only three doctors in the country who performed abortions on women in the third trimester, also referred to as “partial birth abortions.” But why are abortions in the second or third trimesters so controversial? Here are five things you’re probably asking yourself right now. Keep reading »
We think it’s pretty dope that Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s pick for Supreme Court justice, is (a) a lady and (b) could the first person of Hispanic descent to don Supreme Court robes. But many pro-choice advocates are sounding alarm bells today because they have a sneaking suspicion that, once on the bench, Sotomayor may not uphold Roe v. Wade, something they think should be a “no duh” for a judge appointed by a pro-choice president. What’s got them worried, after the jump… [NY Times]
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Supreme Court Justice David Souter is a wackadoodle. He’s eaten the same lunch everyday for 19 years—yogurt and an apple. He refuses to get a computer. And even though he was appointed by Republican George Bush, he usually sides with the liberally-minded folks on the bench. Now that Souter is retiring, we hope Obama will fill the seat with someone equally as interesting.
Rumor has it that Obama wants a woman for the job — which warms our hearts and our wombs, since there’s only one woman left on the court, and her health isn’t so great. At the top of Obama’s short list: solicitor general Elena Kagan, judge Sonia Sotomayer, and Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan. Each met privately with the President yesterday in Washington, DC. Who should the seat go to? We shun, shag, or marry this girl-power menagerie after the jump. Keep reading »
The Supreme Court spent an hour yesterday debating, as the New York TImes put it, “what middle school students are apt to put in their underwear.” The case dealt with a 2003 incident in Arizona when then 13-year-old Savana Redding was strip-searched by school officials who suspected she was hiding prescription ibuprofen in her undies. [New York Times] Keep reading »
Mildred Loving, the aptly named civil rights leader and last victim to be criminally tried for interracial marriage, passed away last Friday, at the age of 68. In 1958, she happily married a white man she had been in love with since grade school. Subsequently, she and her husband, Robert, were arrested and forced into exile with their children for violating Virginiaâ€™s Jim Crow laws, but she refused to undo their â€œI doâ€™s.â€ Loving fought for love and took her trials all the way to the Supreme Court — where she and her husband got 17 states’ racist laws slashed. Although she only wanted to be a bride, Loving became an American heroine and she will live on through her heart, which was big enough to change this country. [AP] Keep reading »
Jane Fonda better wash her mouth out with soap! The Federal Communications Commission is trying to impose stricter regulations for what they call â€œfleeting expletivesâ€ — like when the Barberella star dropped the c-word on The Today Show a couple weeks ago and the world freaked out. Thus far, the Appeals Court has been stalling and put the case, brought by networks like Fox to stop the FCC from being able to fine an unscripted curse, on hold. So the FCC is running to the daddy of all courts, The Supreme Court, to get a quicker and more finite ruling. If the Court agrees to take the case, they could hear arguments as soon as the Fall. Better bite down on your legwarmers next time, Jane. [FMQB] Keep reading »