Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Last month the Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a series of speechs in South Africa. Like many dissenters, she used America's position as the global market-dominant minority to lash out ideologically against those at home. Reading the text of her speech is an interesting case study of the thinking of one of the world's most powerful people. What struck me most was how I could have as easily been reading the words of a collegiate radical campus group leader:
Unlike South Africa's Constitution, a model fundamental instrument of government for a nation starting afresh, the U.S. Constitution is nearly 220 years old and contains no express provision opposing discrimination on the basis of gender.
Ginsburg ruled with the court (5-4) in Roper v. Simmons, citing international laws regarding capital punishment to as part of the justification for deeming the execution of minors illegal. She is not opposed to searching for a legal reason to impose a moral mandate. For a moralist or a philosopher, it's a noble pursuit. But the Supreme Court is to be based on the US Constitution, not a universal morality set that is discerned by enlightened jurists. Ironically though, she is not universal in her application of international law to domestic issues. Ginsburg is the most ardent defender of Roe v. Wade on the court. Yet, along with China, the US has the most liberal policy towards abortion in the world:
When other countries authorized abortions, they did not authorize a right to one. Their laws were designed to give varying degrees of respect to unborn life. (Only in China is there a law as permissive as that conferred by Roe v. Wade.) When Prof. Mary Ann Glendon surveyed abortion laws here and abroad in the late 1980s, she found that in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. there existed pre-abortion waiting periods, mandatory counseling, time limits of when during a pregnancy an abortion could occur, and a requirement that several physicians agree on the need for an abortion.
So when the recent South Dakota legislation makes its way to the US Supreme Court, can we expect Ginsburg to turn to international law on behalf of the Dakotians? It goads me when leftists claim to see everything in gradations. Those zealously committed to ideologies on the left are every bit as absolutist in their beliefs as those on the ideological (religious) right are. Ginsburg does not want to turn to international law when it does not align itself with her own morality.

Reminiscing over her crusades as counsel to the ACLU, Ginsburg let her feminism brightly shine through:
In one sense, our mission in the 1970s was easy: the targets were well defined. There was nothing subtle about the way things were. Statute books in the States and Nation were riddled with what we then called sex-based differentials.
Those would presumably be things like gender-segregated prisons, which she has advocated in the past. I suspect the recidivism rate for males would jump if she had her way, although females might become more law-abiding. Happily, boys with purty teeth would be in good shape!

Ginsburg, like other practitioners of the egalitarian orthodoxy, is completely oblivious to (or, more likely, simply ignores) human biodiversity. Men and women are very different in more ways than we can count, and it's grounded in our evolutionary history. Men have wider intelligence distributions, are most spatially-oriented than women, and have more gray brain matter. Women's IQ distributions are narrower, they are more verbally-oriented, and have more white brain matter. Men are more competitive and autocratic (that's why men's sports are so much more entertaining to watch and why men are responsible for virtually all of the world's wars). Women have lower muscle mass and higher levels of body fat. And on and on.

Ginsburg's not alone. A majority of the court has its head buried in the sand. In a 5-4 decision last year, they ruled racially segregated prisons unconstitutional. Writing for the majority, the now-retired Justice O'Connor wrote that "society as a whole" suffers when prisoners are seperated by race. Are these justices so pedantic that they are unaware of the fact that in race is everything in prison? But enligthened jurists like Ginsburg know better than the warden and the prison guards when it comes to running a prison!

Does Ginsburg really want to ignore this? Does she want to close the door on women in the military? Obviously if female PT requirements were the same as male requirements, it would happen. If she is worried about gender inequality, I suspect she will stand up for Matt Dubay if his case makes it all the way to the US Supreme Court. Reproductive rights in this country overwhelmingly favor women. If a woman has an unwanted pregnancy, the father has no legal right to keep her from aborting his child. Conversely, if the man wants to abort the fetus but the woman wants to have it, he is powerless to stop her. And then he will have to pay child support for eighteen years to help the kid (and the mother) out financially. I'll be expecting a tenacious stand by Ginsburg on this in the future!

A good look into her didacticism:
Our mission was to educate, along with the public, decisionmakers in the Nation's legislatures and courts. We tried to convey to them that something was wrong with their perception of the world. As Justice Brennan wrote in a 1973 Supreme Court plurality opinion, Frontiero v. Richardson, decided a year and a half after the Court had begun to listen: "Traditionally, [differential treatment on the basis of sex] was rationalized by an attitude of 'romantic paternalism' which, in practical effect put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage."

And she still thinks she's educating us today, by destroying any semblance of our understanding of human biodiversity. "The maternal instinct is oppressive! Respecting women who have children as fulfilling their duty is oppressive! Yes, we love evolution in as far as it bashes those pesky Christian fundamentalists, but believe that it actually applies to humans?! That's nuts!" Well, she can revel in the legacy of her sixties counterrevolution--a peaking of the high school graduation rate, a bottoming out of the poverty rate, skyrocketing divorce and illegitimacy rates, and a plummetting birth rate that now leaves every Occidental nation as well as Russia and Japan below replenishment. But at least we got Sex and the City out of it all.



faq said...

It's amazing she passed confirmation with only 3 votes against. Bader Ginsburg was of the ACLU, a committed left-winger with extreme views like some of which you pointed out, and a real feminazi.

Thank god for Scalia:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the era of the "judge-moralist," saying judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage.

"Anyone who thinks the country's most prominent lawyers reflect the views of the people needs a reality check," he said during a speech to New England School of Law students and faculty at a Law Day banquet on Wednesday night.

The 70-year-old justice said the public, through elected Legislatures -- not the courts -- should decide watershed questions such as the legality of abortion.

Scalia decried his own court's recent overturning of a state anti-sodomy law, joking that he personally believes "sexual orgies eliminate tension and ought to be encouraged," but said a panel of judges is not inherently qualified to determine the morality of such behavior.

Hopefully the court will turn in a more sane direction now with Roberts and Alito.

rightwingstuff said...

Tired of leftists? Broadcast your common sense to the world!

crush41 said...

Justice Scalia's wit is always refreshing. He has commented on how his unanimous confirmation during the eighties could never happen today. The nomination process is now truly subject to a litmus test (and I hate to use the cliche). An openly pro-lifer is not going to get on the court, period. Even taking a states' rights position on Roe v. Wade puts one in jeopardy. Ditto opposition to affirmative action.

Audacious Epigone said...

To clarify: Ginsburg supported ending gender segregation in prisons, not maintaining it. That was a typo on my part.