Thursday, May 31, 2007

Media Buzz Around Ginsburg's Oral Dissent in Ledbetter

The Washington Post and The New York Times have seized upon what they believe to be Ginsburg standing up for the an increasingly unsatisfied liberal contingent of Justices sitting on the Supreme Court in Ledbetter. But it is questionable as to whether or not the court--since the confirmation of more conservative Bush appointees--has shifted from one "that once proudly stood up for the disadvantaged...[to] increasingly protective of the powerful."

According to
an article by Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times, Ginsburg has read aloud her dissents in the 2006-2007 term more than any other term in her 15 years sitting on the court. It is a technique that has rarely been employed by justices past and present on the Court. Ginsburg has, herself, rarely used the technique.

The Washington Post's Robert Barnes, however, hints in his
article that Ginsburg's recent desire to speak up may due more in part to her commitment to women's rights issues rather than in response to the shifting ideology of the Court. Her dissent in Ledbetter was related to pay inequity between men and women in the workplace. Her previous dissent this term was related to the Court's decision to uphold a law banning partial birth abortions.

On the Docket believes it too soon to tell whether Ginsburg is speaking for a disatisfied liberal cohort of justices in response to an increasingly conservative Court ideology

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