Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and noted feminist, passed away a few days ago at age 87. And like most feminists, she was also a liberal.
When the Senate held confirmation hearings upon her nomination to the Supreme Court, Ginsburg’s views on Roe v. Wade were brought up, in which it was verified that she supported a woman’s right to have an abortion, even saying that it was “something central to a woman’s life, her dignity…. And when government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human being responsible for her own choices.”
Her other feminist stances consist of the following:
- A merger of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, on the grounds that both groups “perpetuate stereotyped sex roles.”
- The elimination of college fraternities and sororities, and replacing them with “college social societies.”
- Sexual integration of prisons, because she believed “If the grand design of such institutions is to prepare inmates for return to the community as persons equipped to benefit from and contribute to civil society, then perpetuation of single-sex institutions should be rejected.”
- Advocating overturning laws against prostitution, saying such laws were unconstitutional since“prostitution, as a consensual act between adults, is arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions.”
- Advocated reducing the sexual age of consent for those under twelve years old.
- Called for government-sponsored childcare.
- Believed that laws prohibiting bigamy were unconstitutional.
- Called for eliminating words that she considered to be sexist, such as man, woman, manmade, mankind, husband, wife, mother, and father.
Naturally, Ginsburg took the liberal stance on other various issues.
She believed that the American Constitution was open to interpretation (as opposed to the constructionist view) because she believed the framers were products of their era (i.e. time period, gender, class), thus invalidating them as guides when it came to modern-day legal issues. In fact, she believed the American Constitution was “too old” when it came to the issue of whether or not other countries should look to it when writing their own constitutions. Instead, she urged other countries to rely on the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the European Convention on Human Rights for guidance.
Ginsburg was opposed to the death penalty, as well as lengthening sentences for dangerous criminals. She was also a dissenter in Bush v. Gore.
Hopefully, the Senate will confirm a conservative justice to replace her.