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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Popular but Not

 
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GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: 08/25/19 7:56 pm    ::: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Popular but Not Reply Reply with quote

The "Notorious RBG", as she is now pop-famously known on t-shirts, is perhaps the most well-known name on the Supreme Court, and is certainly the justice that is most dearly loved by the left. RBG, now the oldest justice at 86, has been in the news this week because she has just been treated for at least her third battle with cancer.

I'm not going to speculate on how long RBG might continue to serve on the Court, though others may want to do that. Rather, I'm going to express my puzzlement as to why she has become so notorious and popular. For it's hard to recall any famous decisions she's ever authored or any quote, while on the Court, that is memorable.

That's not just my opinion. It's the recent conclusion of legal scholars who have studied the statistical popularity in law school casebooks of all 112 Supreme Court justices in history (as of the date of the study, before Gorsuch and Kavanaugh made it 114.)

Casebooks are the texts that are used in virtually all law school classes. They are comprised of long quotations from actual Supreme Court opinions. Some of the quotes lay out the majority opinion, some quotes illustrate the opposing arguments, and some are quotes from famous dissenting opinions. This is how law students learn all sides of the law, especially constitutional law.

The scholars looked at 14 different constitutional law casebooks in current use and counted how many opinions were quoted from each of the 112 justices in Supreme Court history. The article I linked has tables that show the most quoted justices in history, both on a total opinion basis and an annualized basis.

Who came in dead last on every basis? Who is the least quoted, least popular justice in Supreme Court casebook history? The notorious RBG. As the study states:

Quote:
Perhaps even more remarkable (given her newfound lay popularity) than the most overrepresented justices is the most underrepresented one: on both the normalized total and separate opinion measures, the justice who finished dead last (112th out of 112) was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


It's hard to recall even simple quote from RBG's Supreme Court career. Perhaps her most memorable quote occurred in a speech she gave at NYU law school a few months before being nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993, when she was a DC Circuit Court judge. In that speech she objectively and rationally criticized the Roe v. Wade abortion decision as being so unnecessarily broad and so disregardful of state legislative democracy as to have caused 20 years of unnecessary social controversy (which of course is now 46 years of controversy). Her words, slightly edited for brevity:

Quote:
. . . Roe v. Wade declared “violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” a Texas criminal abortion statute that intolerably shackled a woman’s autonomy . . . . Suppose the Court had stopped there, rightly declaring unconstitutional the most extreme brand of law in the nation, and had not gone on, as the Court did in Roe, to fashion a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force. Would there have been the twenty-year controversy we have witnessed . . . ? A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day . . . might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy.


This was a common sense criticism, made by legions of others and still made to this day. RBG was confirmed to the Court by a 96-3 vote. Having later become the left wing's most notorious judicial darling, RBG has backslid somewhat from her 1993 speech.

So, RBG is a rock star now, her successor will face a nuclear confirmation war if nominated by a Republican president, but she'll eventually be forgotten because she doesn't exist in the books that law professors write and law students read.
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 12094
Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 08/25/19 10:03 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It seems obvious to me. Her insights are seemingly flawless in their objectivity, and especially her perspectives on how religion needs to stay out of the workplace, especially as it pertains to inflicting their dogma on employees that aren't of the same belief.

Just one example: the Burwell/Hobby-Lobby case dissent penned by her:

•“The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage”
•“Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.”
•“Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults.”
•“It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.”
•“Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.”
•“Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”
•“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

This kind of wisdom, in the form of a sprightly little woman at the top of a "Man's Universe", added to the fact that she never attempted to rape another person or even sexually harass them, makes her Numero Uno of The Supremes, imo. What's not to love? Cool



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Luuuc



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PostPosted: 09/03/19 6:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
What's not to love? Cool

The GOAT agrees



https://twitter.com/PhoenixMercury/status/1168963565543469059



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GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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Location: Heisenberg


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PostPosted: 09/03/19 11:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Mirabile dictu, we've got Howee reading Supreme Court opinions! More interesting than Oklahoma Sooner box scores, aren't they. You're never too old to apply to law school, Howee, maybe the University of Oregon. Once you get your bar license, you can belong to one the world's most hated minority groups.
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 12094
Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 09/04/19 12:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Mirabile dictu, we've got Howee reading Supreme Court opinions! More interesting than Oklahoma Sooner box scores, aren't they.


What ISN'T more interesting that an OK box score?? Razz

You might be surprised at what I read. Cool



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