Leave it to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to argue that the Constitution does not, in fact, bar sex discrimination.
Even though the court has said for decades that the equal-protection clause protects women (and, for that matter, men) from sex discrimination, the outspoken, controversial Scalia claimed late last week that women’s equality is entirely up to the political branches. “If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex,” he told an audience at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, “you have legislatures.”
But Justice Scalia’s attack on the constitutional rights of women — and of gays, whom he also brushed off — is not just his usual mouthing off. One of his colleagues on the nation’s highest court, Justice Stephen Breyer, has just come out with a book called Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View, which rightly argues that the Constitution is a living document — one that the founders intended to grow over time, to keep up with new events. Justice Scalia is roaring back in defense of “originalism,” his view that the Constitution is stuck in the meaning it had when it was written in the 18th century.read more »
That’s right, once Elena Kagan was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, the court officially had three sitting female justices for the first time in history.
Change.org has a short, but good, article about this very fact from back in August when Kagan was confirmed.
Elena Kagan made history just a few minutes ago when she was confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court. Not only is she the fourth woman ever to serve in that august office, her place on the bench makes today the first time in history that we have three female Supreme Court Justices sitting at one time.
Read the rest of that article here.
This is something that all women need to take note of. This is something that is awesome, and something that we’re all seeing for the first time–something we might never have seen in our lifetime. More and more firsts, things that we thought were pretty far off in coming, have happened in our lifetimes while many of us are still young. While many other women are still just girls, still just children, babies, or have yet to be born. This is a milestone, and it is paving the way for other women to follow in the footsteps of these justices and to traverse their own paths toward equality.
No matter how often our opponents change the position of the goalposts, change the height of the bar, we will rise to meet it. And one day, hopefully within our lifetimes or within the lifetimes of those just being born now, the glass ceiling will be irreparably shattered for all women.
We aren’t there, yet, not by a long shot, but we shouldn’t become disheartened. Milestones like this one do happen and will continue to happen, and each one moves us just a little closer to our goal of equality. We are closing the gap, even if it isn’t as fast as we would like. We will get there.
This is ridiculous! I hope that this ballot also gets shot down in the voting booths. but damn…
DENVER – A ballot measure that would ban abortions in every circumstance goes before Colorado voters this fall. And on Tuesday, opponents and supporters of the so-called ‘Personhood Amendment’ squared off at the State Capitol.
“Amendment 62 is dangerous,” Vicki Cowart of Planned Parenthood told a large crowd gathered on the west steps of the Capitol. “It eliminates a woman’s right to make personal, private decisions about her body and her health.”
“This deeply personal and painful moral decision is best left to a woman,” said Rev. Dawn Riley Duval of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, “And her doctor…and God!” she shouted to loud applause.
“We consider this to be the civil rights issue of our century really,” said Amendment 62 backer Gualberto Garcia Jones, who is director of Personhood Colorado.”
Amendment 62 would grant fertilized human eggs a full spectrum of legal rights. Its authors claim opponents are using “scare tactics” from what they call ” abortion profiteers.”read more »
Yesterday, Elena Kagan assumed her position as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. She is the fourth woman to do so, and will be the third woman to sit on the current court, along with Sotomayor and Ginsberg.
If you’re pro-woman — regardless of your political views — you should take a moment to be happy. 51% of the population is female. The court has made a bump from 22% to 33% female. One third is insufficient, but it’s a sign that the times, they are a-changin’.
If you lean to the left, you can also be happy that Kagan likely lean that way most of the time. The man she is replacing, John Paul Stevens, has been an advocate for the hard left, so this may represent a loss on a court that is already very conservative and pro-corporations.
The hard Right has much to dislike about her. She is a working woman who has achieved a great deal of success and power. She has never married, and has no children. She is Jewish (one of eight to serve on the Supreme Court). There is speculation that she may be gay, but no confirmation. Clearly she is everything the Christian Right despises.
So, what are her views on the issues critical to women? Alas, the SCOTUS confirmation process doesn’t always help us to determine such things. Kagan has done a pretty good job of playing her opinions close to the vest.
She told Bill Clinton to ban late-term abortions, as a political compromise.
She supports state rights to not recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. “During her solicitor general confirmation hearing, she said that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.” Also during her solicitor general confirmation, Kagan was asked about the Defense of Marriage Act, under which states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. She said she would defend the act if “there was any reasonable basis to do so.”” (Wikipedia)
She may not be a feminist’s dream. She may take positions we consider contrary to progressive interests. Yet she’s a woman making her own way in the world, who doesn’t feel the need to kowtow to anyone’s rules. That includes our own expectations.
So let’s all enjoy this victory for a few minutes. It’s a big one, and a portent of more good things to come.
The end is nigh. Twilight has invaded Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D – MN): Then you did–had an incredibly grueling day yesterday, and did incredibly well. I guess that means you missed the midnight debut of the third Twilight movie last night. We did not miss it in our household and it culminated in three fifteen-year-old girls sleeping over at 3am. Uh, so I have this urge to ask you about the–
Solicitor General Elena Kagan: I didn’t see that.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar: I just had a feeling. I keep wanting to ask you about the famous case of Edward vs. Jacob, or the vampire vs. the werewolf, but I–
Solicitor General Elena Kagan: I wish you wouldn’t.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar: I will refrain. Well, I know you can’t comment on future cases, so I’ll leave that alone.
I will, at some point, go into my reasons for objecting to Twilight—at length. Thankfully, my desire to sputter and rant about it has been soothed.