Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ginsburg: "f*ck all y'all!"

as a sex discrimination lawsuit goes kaput, ruth bader ginsburg, in a rare gesture, read her dissent from the bench. her message basically said, "we're not gonna take it!"

Ginsburg has been the court's lone female member since Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in January 2006, and both women have expressed consternation about that in interviews since then.

"The word I would use to describe my position on the bench is 'lonely,' " Ginsburg told USA Today this year. Asked what difference O'Connor's departure would make, Ginsburg said only: "This term may be very revealing."

Richard Lazarus, co-director of Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute, said that reading a dissent from the bench is significant for a justice. "It's a different order of magnitude of dissent," he said.

Lazarus said Ginsburg's dissents "may be signifying an increasing frustration."
this just goes to show the serious effects that switching one person on the supreme court can bring about. o'connor, most likely, would have tipped the scales slightly in the other direction on this case. but slightly is all you need.

i've always said that, before her retirement, o'connor was the most powerful person in the united states. the supreme court has the final word as to whether a law is constitutional or unconstitutional, and when everyone else on the court votes predictably, more or less, the "swing voter" generally has the final say.


The Pedant said...

It's a tough call in the Ledbetter case. Based on the prior Supreme Court precedent I know about, it's a really fine line between "continuing act" and "time-barred act really long ago." O'Connor tended to split the difference, so I'm not sure that would mean a plaintiff win here.

kusala said...

This is an f-ed up case. 180-day limitation for filing a suit?? 180 days from what exact event? Interesting, part of the argument (that apparently didn't fly) was "that each paycheck that was smaller than those received by similarly situated men amounted to a new discriminatory act." That seems a legit interpretation.

And of course the Chamber of Commerce a-holes are saying that the decision ""eliminates a potential wind-fall against employers by employees trying to dredge up stale pay claims."

"Stale pay claim" = "Yeah, we screwed you, but it's too late now, suckah"

emily2 said...

o'connor liked pragmatic solutions. she was often accused of "legislating from the bench," which is just a wingnut way of saying "creating pragmatic solutions."