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She Wants Company - Lone Female Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Another Woman Needed on the Supreme Court

By July 8, 2009

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Let's face it, how much do we know about our seated Supreme Court justices? We may read historical pieces about their background or legal affairs articles analyzing their rulings. But what they think of current events and how they feel about the cases they hear -- well, we're as likely to know that as to see what they're wearing under those voluminous black robes.

That's why it's so refreshing -- and dare I say it, exciting? -- to read Emily Bazelon's extensive, wide-ranging interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the New York Times website. (A version of this will be printed in some editions of the July 12, 2009 paper.)

Here's a glimpse: She works out with a personal trainer. She uses a gentle touch to influence her colleagues. At her confirmation hearings in 1993, she hoped there'd be three or four female justices further on down the road. And today, she thinks that "It just doesn’t look right in the year 2009" to have only one woman on the Supreme Court.

Having done some research and writing on Ginsburg earlier, I've always been curious to know more about the sole female justice remaining on the court, the one who's been seen as more quiet than activist. Yet as Bazelon reveals in her four-page Q&A, Ginsburg has a sharp, probing mind and a sensitivity to some cases (such as the strip-search of the 13-year-old girl) that her fellow male justices lack.)

Want to know why another female justice (namely Sonia Sotomayor) is so essential, not only to the Supreme Court but to the well-being of this nation? Read Brazelon's "The Place of Women on the Court."

With nominee Sotomayor's confirmation hearings scheduled to begin next week, I can't think of a more timely article for both women and men to read.

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