Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg evolved this summer from a mere figure of authority into a liberal celebrity when she authored the dissenting opinion in the Hobby Lobby case. Ginsburg’s dissent, which has been ubiquitously dubbed “scathing” and/or “blistering” in the press, prompted the left to craft a cult of personality around her.
Liberal outlets dubbed her “Notorious R.B.G.,” whiny folk artists converted her opinion into a terrible but nevertheless widely shared song, and The New Republic laughably dubbed Ginsburg “the most popular woman on the internet.” Take that, Kate Upton.
All this hero worship was entirely unearned, but the left is eternally in search of a totem. Ginsburg revealed just how misplaced the deluge of liberal idolization was on Thursday when she let all that celebrity go to her head.
In an interview with Katie Couric, Ginsburg embraced the toxic, disrespectful, and illiberal identity politics that has so intoxicated the left when she said that the five male Justices who decided Hobby Lobby really cannot understand the law in this case because they do not possess her reproductive organs.
Ginsburg began by insisting that the decision in Hobby Lobby meant that “women would have to take care of that for themselves, or the men who cared.” Oh, the tyrannies of free will and independence.
“Contraceptive coverage is something that every woman must have access to to control her own destiny,” she added. It sure is a good thing that the decision did not limit anyone’s access to contraceptives, as evidenced by what Ginsburg had just said two seconds prior.
“All three women justices were in the minority in the Hobby Lobby decision,” Couric noted, without making mention of the fact that those women represent three of the Court’s four reliably liberal justices. “Do you believe that the five male justices truly understood the ramifications of their decision?”
“I would have to say no,” Ginsburg replied. “I’m ever hopeful that if the Court has a blind spot today, its eyes can be opened tomorrow.”
One would have to presume by Couric’s question and Ginsburg’s subsequent answer that Justice Stephen Breyer possesses an unrivaled clarity of thought and godlike powers of empathy for the female condition.
“But you do in fact feel that these five justices have a bit of a blind spot?” Couric clarified.
“In Hobby Lobby? Yes,” Ginsburg replied.
She added that this same blind spot was evident in the Court’s 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. One has to imagine that she is suggesting here that the Court should have abandoned impartiality and issued a ruling based on emotion.
In that case, Justice Samuel Alito opined that “current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior, uncharged discrimination.” Not that there had been no discrimination. In fact, the Court ruled in favor of the law at the time, which led the Congress to craft and pass a new law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, addressing the Court’s concerns.
You know? The legislative processes defined in the Constitution? Talk about a “blind spot.”
Ginsburg spent the remainder of her interview with Couric basking in the admiration of the online left and her new “notorious” status — a moniker perhaps never so well-deserved.
This was a truly insulting display of contempt for Ginsburg’s male colleagues. Her implication that their majority’s decision in Hobby Lobby, a gracious interpretation of which would lead any civil individual to concede was based on the merits of the case, is the height of condescension.
Were the roles reversed, and it was a male justice in the majority who had suggested that his female counterparts dissented in this case because they were blinded by self-interest and the peculiarities of their gender, the left would demand that justice be impeached.
That would, of course, be an absurd overreaction, but the left would at least have a case to make; the justice in that hypothetical case would be expressing desire if not an intention to betrayal of the oath of office. Ginsburg swore solemnly to “administer justice without respect to persons.” In this moment, she signaled her willingness to violate that pledge.
Arguing for what are essentially separate but equal systems of justice based on circumstances of birth is not a liberal notion. It is poisonous, and Ginsburg should be ashamed of herself for promoting it.