Bench Memos

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Opposition to Mother’s Day


My recent posting on the extremist views of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the time President Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court included the fact that Ginsburg “had proposed abolishing Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and replacing them with a single androgynous Parent’s Day.”

Rush Limbaugh kindly read this and other parts of my posting on his nationwide radio show. Alan Skorski, who will be publishing a book this fall on Al Franken titled Pants on Fire, has sent me his transcript of a recent radio show in which Franken played this audio clip from Limbaugh and dismissed Limbaugh’s account as an “urban myth from conservatives”:

Limbaugh clip: “You know, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is more extreme than any of these nominees that Bush has brought up. I went through this list of things she actually believes in, that came out in her testimony, such as getting rid of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and replacing it with Parent’s Day.”

Franken to Mark Luther: “She never actually said anything about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for Parents’ Day anywhere.”

Mark Luther: “So you think he is just fabricating this completely?”

Franken: “I think it’s an urban myth from conservatives. We got this from Thomas E. Mann, a Brookings Institute Senior Fellow on Government Studies. He told us–I now have it on the highest and closest authority that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has never, in any setting, proposed doing anything with Mother’s Day.”

Sorry, Al, but this is no urban myth. Here is exactly what Ginsburg proposed—in a section titled “Recommendations”:
Replacing “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” with a “Parents’ Day” should be considered, as an observance more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.
Source: Page 133 of “Report of Columbia Law School Equal Rights Advocacy Project: The Legal Status of Women under Federal Law,” co-authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Brenda Feigen Fasteau in September 1974.

If any other leftist wants to dispute any other aspect of my posting on Ginsburg, please do so publicly, and I will be happy to provide exact quotations and page citations.

It’s especially telling that even the Left finds it hard to believe how extremist many of Ginsburg’s views were. Yet notwithstanding views that were far more out of the “mainstream” than even the grossest caricatures of the most vilified of President Bush’s nominees, Ginsburg was confirmed to the Supreme Court, by a 96-3 vote, a mere six weeks after her nomination.


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