Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Justice Ginsburg: In Current Political Climate, I Might Never Have Been Confirmed to High Court

By Nicole Flatow, cross-posted from American Constitution Society

Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the ACLU
If her judicial nomination had been considered by today’s Senate, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she might never have been confirmed, The Associated Press reports.

"Today, my ACLU connection would probably disqualify me," said Ginsburg, who served as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and helped launch the organization’s Women’s Rights Project.

Ginsburg was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by a vote of 96-3. She had also been confirmed in 1980 to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Ginsburg also spoke out about Senate obstruction of judicial nominations last August, calling for greater Senate cooperation in confirming judicial nominees to our lower federal courts.

“With ABA encouragement, may the U.S. Senate someday return to the collegial, bipartisan spirit that Justice Breyer and I had the good fortune to experience," she said during the American Bar Association’s annual meeting.

At ThinkProgress, the Center for American Progress’s Ian Millhiser notes, “It is possible that modern doctrines preventing gender discrimination would simply not exist if Ruth Bader Ginsburg hadn’t done the work she did for the ACLU. And yet, in today’s era of rampant right-wing filibusters, that alone would disqualify her for a seat on the federal bench.”

To learn more about judicial nominations and the vacancy crisis on our federal courts, visit


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