from Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – quotes and notes

When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?

Her answer: When there are nine.


“[L]egal challenges to undue restrictions on abortion procedures … center on a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature …” Gonzales v. Carhart

[She wasn’t pleased with the argument of Roe v Wage b/c it focused on privacy instead of autonomy]


“[T]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives …” Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

Put that way, rape should be mentioned as well as access to contraception and abortion (though it’s irrelevant to the case, I get that).


“The Court’s hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed.  Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label ‘abortion doctor’.  A fetus is described as an ‘unborn child’ and a as a ‘baby’, second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as ‘late-term’ and the reasons medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as ‘preferences’ motivated by ‘mere convenience’.” Gonzales v. Carhart

Indeed.  The power of words.  The importance of word choices.


“The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.”  Reed v. Reed 

I like that.  Well-put.


“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity.  … When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.  Abortion prohibition by the State … controls women and denies them full autonomy and full equality with men.” Ginsburg at her Senate Confirmation Hearing, July 21, 1993

Love it.




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