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Friday, January 26, 2007

One is the Loneliest Number

In a recent article by Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that, following Justice O'Connor's retirement, it was “lonely” being the only woman on the Supreme Court--something that neither she nor Justice O’Connor “ever thought...would happen again.” Justice Ginsburg also worried that the current Court’s makeup sends a message that a female jurist is “aberrational.” With the president’s approval ratings at an all time low and the country growing increasingly frustrated with most of the administration’s policies, many commentators are pointing to President Bush’s two confirmed Supreme Court nominations as his greatest legacy. If nominating two white men to an already unrepresentative high court--not to mention two out-of-step conservatives--is the best thing this administration does, we are afraid to ask about the worst.

In the article, the conservative American Enterprise Institute's Karlyn Bowman declared that gender diversity is no longer important, because “we are past [needing female role models] for young women.” Perhaps Bowman should listen to the eighth grade girl quoted by Biskupic after her teacher showed her a picture of the current lineup of justices: “[Justice Ginsburg] kind of carries the weight of all the ladies. At least when there were two ladies on the court, she had backup.” According to the article, when Justice Ginsburg was told of the girl's comment, she said, “That is very insightful.”

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