Eyes On Ginsburg As Court Gets Abortion Case

Supreme Court sets date for Louisiana abortion case

Nov 26, 2019

The Hill – The Supreme Court has set a date, March 4, to hear oral arguments in a case over a Louisiana abortion law.

The hot-button case is about a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Critics say this is aimed at forcing abortion clinics to close.

In February, the court ruled to prevent the law from taking effect while it faces a legal challenge. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in this decision, but it is unclear whether he would vote to block the law permanently.

A similar law in Texas was struck down 5-3 in 2016, but Roberts voted to uphold that law at the time. Justice Anthony Kennedy has retired since then … Read more. 

Bill Clinton reveals abortion conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg before nomination

Oct 30, 2019

Former President Bill Clinton revealed Wednesday that he openly discussed the issue of abortion with the woman he would later make his first nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

While Ginsburg’s views on the issue were widely known ahead of her appointment in 1993, Clinton’s acknowledgment is striking at a time when political leaders in both parties have sought to avoid the appearance of an abortion litmus test for high court nominees.

“There is one thing that we did discuss, and I feel I should tell you, because it will illustrate why I thought I should appoint her,” Clinton said of his West Wing interview with Ginsburg during a rare joint appearance with the now-justice at Georgetown University Law School.

“Abortion was a big issue in 1992 — the right to choose. I was one of the first pro-choice Democrats to run since Roe v. Wade, who actually benefited from Roe v. Wade,” Clinton said. “Now, she didn’t have to say anything about this. She knew this perfectly well that I was under a lot of pressure to make sure I appointed someone who is Simon-pure, which I had said was important.”

It’s not known whether other recent presidents have privately asked potential nominees how they might rule on abortion rights cases, but none have publicly admitted to doing so. Most recent nominees themselves have been circumspect in public statements on the topic.

Ginsburg, currently the oldest justice on the court at 86, was confirmed by the Senate 96-3 as a celebrated advocate for gender equality and a judicial moderate. Her support for abortion rights generally was spelled out in speeches she gave before her nomination.

In March 1993, five months before Clinton tapped her for the bench, Ginsburg delivered a lecture defending the court’s decision in Roe but disagreeing with the rationale, arguing for a narrower ruling on the basis of equal protection.

“I asked her the question and she talked about it just as if it was any other issue, no effect, this is what I think, this is why I think it. And she made a heck of a case,” Clinton said.

After nominating her to the bench, Clinton declared that his pick was “clearly pro-choice.”

“I was very well aware of her work as a litigator and academic and judge — admired it enormously,” former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said at the Georgetown event of her involvement in Ginsburg’s nomination. “I also knew what a difference her pioneering work on gender meant … ” Read more.