Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Has everyone been listening to the Sotomayor hearing? It's really interesting, but it seems like every time a conservative senator gets the chance to question her, he comes off like a dolt.....Graham, I think, used the word "in" about 38 times in one sentence this afternoon (and no, it wasn't a stutter).
The other day, I read an interview with the Supreme Court's only (at the moment) female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I think this interview has made its way to the cable news chumps, who have undoubtedly butchered the interpretation.
I wanted to pass it on, and strongly urge you all to read the whole thing, though, because wow. It's fascinating.
On the topic of whether one's life experiences affect how they view the world and decide cases ("well, duh!" is my response, but that's just me), and the whole to-do over Sonia Sotomayor's now infamous quote:
I thought it was ridiculous for them to make a big deal out of that. Think of how many times you’ve said something that you didn’t get out quite right, and you would edit your statement if you could. I’m sure she meant no more than what I mean when I say: Yes, women bring a different life experience to the table. All of our differences make the conference better. That I’m a woman, that’s part of it, that I’m Jewish, that’s part of it, that I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I went to summer camp in the Adirondacks, all these things are part of me.
On feminism and advancing its ideals:
I always thought that there was nothing an antifeminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.
On the recently decided case of the middle-schooler who was strip-searched:
Q: What about the case this term involving the strip search, in school, of 13-year-old Savana Redding? Justice Souter’s majority opinion, finding that the strip search was unconstitutional, is very different from what I expected after oral argument, when some of the men on the court didn’t seem to see the seriousness here. Is that an example of a case when having a woman as part of the conversation was important?
JUSTICE GINSBURG: I think it makes people stop and think, Maybe a 13-year-old girl is different from a 13-year-old boy in terms of how humiliating it is to be seen undressed. I think many of [the male justices] first thought of their own reaction. It came out in various questions. You change your clothes in the gym, what’s the big deal?
Again, "well duh!" Why is it hard for people to grasp that privileged white guys will not be the best at fairly evaluating the experiences of those not like themselves??
And on the biggie: Choice. Ginsberg does seem very firmly optimistic about reproductive rights remaining in place, which is a refreshing voice to hear.
The morning-after pill will become more accessible and easier to take. So I think the side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.
And on the problems with anti-choice thinking:
The poor little woman, to regret the choice that she made. Unfortunately there is something of that in Roe. It’s not about the women alone. It’s the women in consultation with her doctor. So the view you get is the tall doctor and the little woman who needs him.
Go read the whole thing!