Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.jpg
Current Court Information:
Supreme Court of the United States
Title:   Associate Justice
Service:
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Approval vote:   97-3
Active:   8/5/1993-Present
Preceded by:   Byron White
Past post:   District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Past term:   1980-1993
Personal History
Born:   March 15, 1933
Hometown:   Brooklyn, New York
Undergraduate:   Cornell, B.A., 1954
Law School:   Columbia Law, LL.B., 1959

Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is the 107th Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on June 22, 1993, and received her commission to serve on August 5, 1993.

Justice Ginsburg is the second woman and the first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court. In practice, she spent a considerable portion of her career as an advocate for the equal citizenship status of women and men as a constitutional principle. She engaged in advocacy as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and in the 1970s, was a member of the ACLU's Board and one of its General Counsel.[1][2]

Judicial philosophy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes in the Living Constitution, a form of jurisprudence that believes the United States Constitution is a document that adapts to the times, taking on a different meanings depending on when it is interpreted. This is opposed to originalism or textualism that believes the Constitution's meaning cannot adapt and is its exact meaning is the same as when it was written.[3] As well as her interpretation of the constitution, Ginsburg is a stout defender of equality. While she was a strong advocate for women's rights prior to joining the courts, her time on the courts have shown that she does not place women's rights above that of men.[4] During her confirmation President Bill Clinton called Ginsburg the "Thurgood Marshall of gender equality law."[5]

Education

Ginsburg received her B.A. from Cornell University. In 1954, she enrolled at Harvard Law School. When her husband took a job in New York City she transferred to Columbia Law School and became the first woman to be on both the Harvard and Columbia law reviews. She earned her LL. B degree at Columbia in 1959.[2][6]

Career

  • 1973-1980: General Counsel
  • 1972-1973: Director and Co-Founder, Women's Rights Project
  • 1973-1974: Consultant, United States Commission on Civil Rights
  • 1972-1980: Professor, Columbia University School of Law
  • 1963-1972: Rutgers, The States University School of Law
  • 1969-1972: Professor
  • 1966-1969: Associate Professor
  • 1963-1966: Assistant Professor
  • 1962-1963: Associate Director, Project on International Procedure, Columbia Law School
  • 1961-1962: Research Associate, Project on International Procedure, Columbia Law School
  • 1959-1961: Law Clerk, Edmund Palmieri, Southern District of New York

While Ginsburg was working on the Project on International Procedure at Columbia Law, she learned Swedish to co-author a book on judicial procedure in Sweden. During her time at Rutgers, she co-founded the Women's Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the United States to focus exclusively on women's rights. Her time as Columbia Law saw her become the first woman tenured to the law school. Also while at Columbia, she authored the first law school case book on sex discrimination. During her time at the ACLU, Ginsberg appeared before the Supreme Court six times, earning a reputation as a skilled oral advocate.[6][2]

Judicial career

Supreme Court of the United States

Opinions by year

Below is a table of the number of opinions, concurrences, dissents, and splits (concur in part, dissent in part) that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has issued since joining the Supreme Court, according to the data on Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute.[7]

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Opinions 1 9 9 10 10 8 10 8 10 10 8 11 7 7 8 5 7 9 8 0 0
Concurrences 1 10 8 5 4 6 3 3 5 2 3 3 5 3 3 3 1 3 8 0 0
Dissents 0 7 7 3 3 7 3 7 3 6 6 6 7 3 4 5 8 3 5 0 0
Concur in part, Dissent in part 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 1 0 0
Totals 2 27 24 19 18 21 17 20 18 18 18 20 19 13 16 16 17 15 22 0 0

Notable cases

Supreme Court

President Bill Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on June 22, 1993. During her confirmation hearings in the Senate, she refused to answer questions regarding her personal views on most issues or how she would adjudicate certain hypothetical situations as a Supreme Court Justice. She did answer questions relating to some issues, affirming her belief in a constitutional right to privacy, and explaining at some length her personal philosophy and thoughts regarding gender equality. The U.S. Senate confirmed her by a 96 to 3 vote and she took her seat on August 10, 1993.

For the full transcript of Justice Bader Ginsburg's confirmation hearing, visit: The Library of Congress, Nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Oath of office

Justice Ginsburg took the Constitutional and Judicial Oaths of Office on August 10, 1993. They were administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist.[10]

"Ginsburg Precedent"

More than a decade passed between the time Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were appointed and the time another justice left the court. In that time, both Congress and the White House had switched to Republican control. When Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement in the summer of 2005 (with William Rehnquist's death a few months later), both sides began to squabble about just how many questions President George W. Bush's nominees would be expected to answer. The debate heated up when hearings for John Roberts began in September 2005. Republicans used an argument that they called the "Ginsburg Precedent," which centered on Ginsburg's confirmation hearings. In those hearings, she did not answer some questions involving matters such as abortion, gay rights, separation of church and state, rights of the disabled, and so on. Only one witness was allowed to testify "against" Ginsburg at her confirmation hearings and the hearings lasted four days.[11]

However, some politicians, such as Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, contested the idea of the "precedent." He said that "over 300 opinions over 13 years as a federal judge" allowed Ginsburg to share her opinions through her body of work.[11]

The "precedent" was highly contested, with both sides having strong arguments as to why the precedent did or did not exist. The Federalist Society issued a paper on the Ginsburg confirmations concluding that the justice's general answers and avoidance of other questions where based on valid reasoning and her 96-3 confirmation vote supported that the Senate understood these reasons.[12]

Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Ginsburg was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Carter on April 14, 1980, and received her commission on June 18, 1980. She was filling the seat left vacant by the death of Harold Leventhal.[1]

Awards and associations

Awards

  • 1992: Honorary Degree, Lewis and Clark College
  • 1991: Honorary Degree, Amherst College
  • 1991: Honorary Degree, Rutgers University
  • 1988: Honorary Degree, Hebrew Union College
  • 1987: Honorary Degree, Brooklyn Law School
  • 1985: Honorary Degree, Georgetown University Law Center
  • 1984: Honorary Degree, Vermont Law School
  • 1981: Honorary Degree, American University
  • 1980: Barnard College Annual Woman of Achievement Award
  • 1979: Society of American Law Teachers Annual Outstanding Teach of Law Award
  • 1977:Selected as one of ten outstanding United States law school professors, Time
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • New York State Regents and Cornell Scholarships

Associations

  • 1992-1993: Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Private International Law, Study Group on International Recognition of Judgments
  • 1990-1993: Chairman, Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit
  • 1990-1993: Honorary Member and Board of Governors, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
  • 1988-1990: Member, Judicial Conference of the United States, Committee on the Fifth International Appellate Judges Conference
  • 1980-1993: Editorial Board, Encyclopedia of the American Constitution
  • 1979-1980: Amicus Curiae Committee, American Bar Association
  • 1979-1980: Advisory Committee on Planning for the District Courts, Judicial Council of the Second Circuit
  • 1979: Nominating Committee, Association of American Law Schools
  • 1978-1980: National Commission on Law and Social Action, American Jewish Congress
  • 1978-1980: Vice-President, Federal Bar Council
  • 1978-1980: Advisory Board and Editorial Board for the Guide to American Law, West Publishing Company Law School Department
  • 1977-1980: National Advisory Board and Advisory Board to Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Women's Equity Action League
  • 1977-1980: Advisory Board, Urban Institute, Center for Policy Research on Women
  • 1977-1980: Academic Advisory Board, Columbia University Center for the study of Human Rights
  • 1977-1980: Advisory Board, Columbia University Center for the Social Sciences, Program in Sex Roles and Social Change
  • 1977-1980: Board Member, National Woman's Party
  • 1976-1980: Planning and Program Committee, Judicial Conference of the Second Circuit
  • 1975-1993: Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • 1975-1981: Council Member, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, American Bar Association
  • 1975-1980: Board Member, Women's Action Alliance
  • 1975-1980: Society of American Law Teachers
  • 1978-1980: Vice President
  • 1975-1977: Board of Governors and Executive Committee
  • 1972-1993: American Law Institute
  • 1985-1993: Adviser, Project on Complex Litigation
  • 1978-1993: Council Member
  • 1972-1982: Adviser, Restatement of Judgments
  • 1972-1980: Board Member, Women's Law Fund
  • 1972-1978: Bard of Editors, ABA Journal
  • 1972-1973: Director, Citizens Union
  • 1972: Executive Committee, Association of American Law Schools
  • 1970-1973: Chairman, Section of International Law, Committee on Comparative Procedure and Practice, American Bar Association
  • 1970-1977: Board of Directors, American Foreign Law Association
  • 1973-1976: Vice-President
  • 1967-1972: Member, European Law Committee, American Bar Association
  • 1966-1980: Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • 1979-1980: Civil Rights Committee
  • 1978-1979: Sex and Law Committee
  • 1974-1978: Executive Committee
  • 1970-1974: Post Admission Legal Education Committee
  • 1966-1969: Foreign Law Committee
  • 1966-1972: Editorial Board, American Journal of Comparative Law
  • 1963-1967: International Board, Children's International Summer Villages[13]

Personal life

Ginsburg has suffered from ill health, undergoing cancer surgery in February of 2009 and a brief hospital stay in September of 2009 after falling ill in her offices. She also spent a night in the hospital in October of 2009 after collapsing in an airplane.[14][15][16]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first justice to perform a same-sex marriage. It was also the first same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court, it occurred on October 31, 2013.[17]

Tumblr

Following the strong dissents read by Justice Ginsburg during the end of the Supreme Court's October 2012 term, a Tumblr of quotes, memes and cartoons was created. Click on this link for the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr.

September 2013 interview

In September 2013, Justice Ginsburg participated in an interview with the website The Takeaway. Below are the links to the transcripts from that interview:

Interests

One of Ginsburg's favorite past-times is opera, which she often attends with Antonin Scalia. They are both such open supporters of opera that they have an opera named after them Scalia/Ginsburg, a tale of how the two often are at odds with thier jurisprudence.[18]

See also

External links


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ginsburg Biography from the Federal Judicial Center
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Oyez, "U.S. Supreme Court Media: Ruth Bader Ginsburg biography," accessed July 10, 2014
  3. [http://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1513&context=student_scholarship Seton Hall University, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 20 Years of Supreme Court Jurisprudence," May 1, 2014]
  4. Berkeley Law, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Jurisprudence of Opportunity and Equality," January 1, 2014
  5. New York Times, "THE SUPREME COURT: Woman in the News; Rejected as a Clerk, Chosen as a Justice: Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg," June 15, 1993
  6. 6.0 6.1 Supreme Court of the United States, "Current Justice biographies," accessed July 11, 2014
  7. Cornell University, "WRITINGS BY JUSTICE GINSBURG," accessed April 2, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Supreme Court of the United States, "Burwell v. Hobby Lobby," June 30, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. Supreme Court of the United States, "Oaths of Office Taken by the Current Court," accessed on September 3, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Senator Charles E. Schumer, "Text of Speech: 'The Myth of the Ginsburg Precedent'," September 1, 2005
  12. Federalist Society, "Precedent from the Confirmation Hearings of Ruth Bader Ginsburg," November 11, 1993
  13. THOMAS, "Nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States," accessed June 30, 2014
  14. Associated Press "Ginsburg briefly hospitalized, released Thurs.," October 15, 2009
  15. The Washington Post News Digest "Ginsburg Hospitalized For Reaction to Drugs," October 16, 2009
  16. Associated Press "Justice Ginsburg hospitalized overnight, released," October 15, 2009
  17. Life Site, "Justices O’Connor, Ginsburg perform same-sex ‘marriage’ ceremonies inside Supreme Court," October 31, 2013
  18. NPR, "Scalia V. Ginsburg: Supreme Court Sparring, Put To Music," June 10, 2013
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Byron White
Supreme Court
1993–present
Succeeded by:
NA
Preceded by:
Harold Leventhal
DC Circuit Court of Appeals
1980–1993
Succeeded by:
David Tatel