Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 87 on the Ides of March |
Only three other justices in history were older
PLUS: Aging Ginsburg dominates in abortion case
March 6, 2020
Glamour – We asked nine former clerks to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to reflect on how other women have lifted them up—mentored them, advised them, represented them, and above all showed them what was possible.
It is one of the most coveted jobs not just in the world of law, but across all three branches of government. It is also one of the most invisible. Ahead of each term at the Supreme Court, the nine justices announce a new cohort of clerks.
In a word, law clerks are interns. But their responsibilities include doing some of the most consequential administrative work in the nation. Clerks read petitions and recommend cases to the justices. Some author draft opinions.
Others serve as sounding boards—testing out possible arguments with their boss.
Four members of the current Supreme Court—Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Brett Kavanaugh—were clerks themselves.
Still, for all the pomp and circumstance, the list of those selected tends to constitute news in a limited circle—among recent graduates of top law schools and at elite firms.
But from time to time, the reveal attracts more widespread attention. And at least one time, it went viral.
At the start of 2018, cultural icon and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was about to mark her 25th anniversary on the bench and her 85th birthday.
Between the two milestones, some wondered whether her retirement was imminent. But with President Donald Trump in the White House, the Notorious RBG made clear she intended to remain … Read more.
Ruth Ginsburg dominates in abortion case
March 5, 2020
Washington (CNN) – If there is any question whether 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has spent her life steeped in issues concerning women’s rights, is slowing down after four bouts of cancer, it was not evident Wednesday morning in Washington.
For over an hour, Ginsburg, the leading liberal on the bench, engaged in a high stakes constitutional version of whack-a-mole, taking down arguments put forward by supporters of a Louisiana abortion access law that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
As lawyers for the state and the Trump administration urged the justices to greenlight the law, arguing it is necessary to protect public safety, Ginsburg worked to dismantle each of their arguments one by one. At times, she even went after her own conservative colleagues.
Ginsburg, who has served almost 30 years on the Supreme Court, is witnessing efforts by Republican-led states, emboldened by a new conservative majority on the Court, to pass increasingly restrictive abortion laws.
Abortion rights supporters, who have spent years in the trenches, are fearful that the Court is rolling back rights. In Court, Ginsburg calmly, persistently and systematically dissected each point.
As she often does, she asked the first question at oral argument. She is a proceduralist, and she sometimes starts with complicated threshold arguments, bringing them to the light of day.
In the case at hand, Louisiana and the Trump administration argue that the challenge should be dismissed, without the justices ever reaching the merits, because the doctors and clinics don’t have the legal right to stand in the place of women seeking abortion and bring the case.
Louisiana argues that the doctors and clinics may not have the same interests as women seeking an abortion.
It’s a dry legal issue called “third party standing,” but if a majority of the Court were to buy into it, it would devastate the challengers’ case.
Not only would the law go into effect, but in the future, it would be much harder for critics to bring challenges … Read more.