Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—May 9

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., November 30, 2018. (Jim Young/Reuters)

2018—At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Ryan Bounds to a Ninth Circuit vacancy, Senator Richard Blumenthal tries to take Bounds to task for his college writings. As David Lat aptly summed up those writings, Bounds simply “poked fun at the excesses of political correctness,” but his critics have instead unfairly “tar[red]” him as supposedly “biased against minorities, women and gays.”

Blumenthal hilariously illustrates the point. He complains to Bounds that “You referred to fellow students as ‘oreos,’ ‘twinkies,’ ‘coconuts,’ and the like.” Bounds, in reply, makes the obvious point that he was “decry[ing] the use of those names.” Blumenthal, following up, objects: “But you referred to fellow students with those terms.” Bounds again points out that he “was complaining about the fact that other people referred to my fellow students that way.”

Alas, Bounds’s nomination will be withdrawn two months later on the cusp of a final confirmation vote, when Republican senator Tim Scott inexplicably appears to accept the Democratic smears.

2021—Happy Mother’s Day! No thanks to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in 1974 co-authored a report proposing that Congress abolish Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and replace them with an androgynous Parents’ Day. Observing Parents’ Day would, she explained, be “more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.”

In that same report, the oh-so-“moderate” Ginsburg stated her strong sympathy for the proposition that there is a constitutional right to prostitution and a constitutional right to bigamy; criticized the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts for perpetuating stereotyped sex roles; and urged that prisons be co-ed rather than single sex. (See relevant excerpts from the report.)


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