I’m not particularly shocked by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s statements in a USA Today story today about how her own colleagues sometimes don’t pay her the respect she deserves, but I am disappointed.
USA Today Supreme Court reporter Joan Biskupic writes:
Ginsburg, 76, a former women’s rights advocate whom President Clinton named to the high court in 1993, recalled that as a young, female lawyer her voice often was ignored by male peers. “I don’t know how many meetings I attended in the ’60s and the ’70s, where I would say something, and I thought it was a pretty good idea. … Then somebody else would say exactly what I said. Then people would become alert to it, respond to it.”
Even after 16 years as a justice, she said, that still sometimes occurs. “It can happen even in the conferences in the court. When I will say something — and I don’t think I’m a confused speaker — and it isn’t until somebody else says it that everyone will focus on the point.”
In the interviews for the story, conducted before Ginsburg’s colleague David Souter announced his retirement, Ginsburg also says:
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. I don’t say (the split) should be 50-50. It could be 60% men, 40% women, or the other way around. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
So here’s my question: most court-watchers seem to be convinced that the president will nominate a woman to replace Souter. And if Ginsburg leaves the court during Obama’s presidency (the 76-year-old justice has pancreatic cancer but wants to continue to serve), I’d guess Obama would nominate another woman to fill her seat. (Otherwise, we’d be right back at 1 of 9.) But what if Obama gets the chance to nominate a replacement for one of the sitting male justices? We’ve already had 2 of 9 when Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor were both on the court. Shall we go for 3 of 9?
What are the odds?
HT: How Appealing