A do-nothing Supreme Court

Like many other old folks, I am amazed at the rapidity of change when it comes to popular opinion and gay marriage.  And that brings me to abortion. I remember exactly where I was when Roe v. Wade was decided. I was clerking for Judge Ross and I was in chambers when the news came. Incidentally, Judge Ross had taken Justice Blackmun’s seat on the Eighth Circuit. In any event, Roe hit like an atom bomb. The mushroom clouds from that decision still fill our sky. Justice Ginsburg has said as much.

Yesterday, when the stay was lifted on the Ninth Circuit decision on gay marriage, I was very pleased. I fervently hope that the Supreme Court never has to decide the gay marriage issue. If the Courts of Appeal all go in one direction, the Supreme Court can do nothing. Unlike Congress, a do-nothing Supreme Court is a good thing.*

Photo credit: Icemanbg

Photo credit: Icemanbg


*Legally speaking, I express no opinion on the merits of the gay marriage issue.

Just like federal trial judges, law professors can be both pompous and amusing at the same time

Law professors and federal judges (me in particular, as evidenced by this blog) frequently suffer from the same amusing problem of egotism. Thus, reading Professor Adam Winkler’s  pompous lecture of Justice Ginsburg for telling the New York Times that she was not resigning made me smile.

His article in the Daily Beast is entitled Time For Justice Ginsburg to Step Aside to Save Her Legacy. According to his law school profile, Winkler is a “specialist in American constitutional law” at UCLA.

Given the Justice’s clear and firm statement to the Times that I blogged about here, I wonder what Professor Winkler thought he was accomplishing by essentially telling Justice Ginsburg that a UCLA law professor was unwilling to take her “no” for an answer?

I can see Ginsburg now. “Oh, my God, Adam Winkler thinks that if I don’t resign my legacy will be tarnished. Since I’m an old woman, I desperately need the advice and counsel of a 46-year-old ‘specialist in American constitutional law’ from Hollywood. So, let’s whip up a letter to Barry and tell him to line up some smart law professor like Winkler to replace me.”  That’s the ticket.


Justice Ginsburg

In early July, I wrote a post gently entitled Justice Ginsburg is not too old to continue to serve and anyone who says differently is a mean son-of-bitch and a misogynist.  I am especially glad to see a far more literate and thoughtful gentleman concurs.  See Jason Farago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the supreme court’s leading lady shouldn’t leave yet; As Ginsburg celebrates 20 years on the court, some want her to step down; They underestimate her skills and strength, Guardian (UK, August 2, 2013).

The article is especially interesting because of the details regarding the Justice’s work habits. Even more fascinating is the description of the Justice as a gym rat personally trained by an Army parachutist.  Wonderful!


PS As always, thanks to How Appealing (Friday, August 2, 2013).

Justice Ginsburg is not too old to continue to serve and anyone who says differently is a mean son-of-bitch and a misogynist

Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg too old to be a Supreme Court justice?” See that essay yesterday at The Los Angeles Times.

Read the essay.  Inform yourself about the many medical and physical problems that Justice Ginsburg has courageously overcome and marvel at her toughness. Remember her long and distinguished service and, most importantly, look back in awe at her passionate and persuasive engagement as a Justice this term.   Now, consider this little known fact:

Even though she is 80, Justice Ginsburg is real human being.

Real human beings should be treated with respect.  Suggestions that Justice Ginsburg must retire, because the Republicans may get her seat, treat her like an object.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.  Tossing away women when they are perceived to be no longer useful has a long history.  But it still makes me puke.


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