Bench Memos

Ginsburg vs. Mother’s Day, the TKO

Attention, Al Franken:

I am pleased to report that I have posted on the website of the Ethics and Public Policy Center a PDF version of the source setting forth the extremist views of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the “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.

I have separately posted PDF versions of certain specific pages as well as the report’s cover page. Links to all of these pages and to the entire report can be found here. (Warning: Downloading the entire document will take a long time.)

The document includes the following propositions:

“Prostitution, as a consensual act between adults, is arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions.” [72]

A statutory restriction on political rights of bigamists “is of questionable constitutionality since it appears to encroach impermissibly upon private relationships.” [190-191]

“Sex-segregated adult or juvenile institutions are obviously separate and in a variety of ways, unequal. . . . If the grand design of such institutions is to prepare inmates for return to the community as persons equipped to benefit from and contribute to civil society, then perpetuation of single-sex institutions should be rejected.” [75]

“The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, while ostensibly providing ’separate but equal’ benefits to both sexes, perpetuate stereotyped sex roles to the extent that they carry out congressionally-mandated purposes.” [131]

“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.” [133]

Other nuggets abound. For example, Ginsburg recommended that the age of consent for purposes of statutory rape be lowered from 16 to 12. [See pages 69-71 and the specific recommendation regarding 18 U.S.C. § 2032 on page 76.]

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