I could not believe my ears and eyes when I watched this video of her giving advice to the Egyptians as their “Arab Spring” moment moves onward and they begin the process of creating a their new Mubarek-less State (will that be a great tradeoff for the US with the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists controlling 75% of the new Parliament? Does anyone disagree that the operative phrase is going to be “Shar’iah Law”?). Given Bader Ginsburg’s status as one of THE defenders of the US Constitution, I could only shake my head. I expected more – much more. Sure, if one is a law lecturer, a legal scholar (which the Justices are, no doubt), I would not have been as surprised (slightly annoyed, but not surprised). But not only did I (and I would posit most Americans as well), expect her to be that scholar and more, and one that would have been championing the checks and balances, the simplicity of our Constitution.
From MEMRI, the short form:
Here is a longer version that was posted by the US Embassy in Cairo of the interview:
Newsbusters: has a partial transcription:
… “It is a very inspiring time, that you have overthrown a dictator, and that you are striving to achieve a genuine democracy,” the U.S. Supreme Court associate justice says. “So I think people in the United States are hoping that this transition will work, and that there will genuinely be a government of, by, and for the people.” She says that after meeting with the head of the election commission, she was pleased to see that the recent elections in Parliament’s lower chamber were considered free and fair.
… Asked by the English-speaking interviewer whether she thought Egypt should use the Constitutions of other countries as a model, Ginsburg said Egyptians should be “aided by all Constitution-writing that has gone on since the end of World War II.”
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa,” says Ginsburg, whom President Clinton nominated to the court in 1993. “That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution.”Ginsburg, who spent her career before taking the bench advocating for gender equality, praised
What, we DON’T have an independent judiciary? Is our Bill of Rights just a piece of paper? Or does she share the thought of Obama that since our Constitution / Bill of Rights is a limiting document which limits Government to what it cannot do TO people, it is fatally flawed in the way that FDR’s Second Bill of Rights would have made right (and become a positive rights document – what the Government HAS to do for its citizens). The problem is that it changes the whole tenor of our philosophy from Government being a Protector of Liberties to a Government being a Giver of Redistribution Spoils (i.e., one that gives us stuff after it first takes other stuff away from others – which, by definition, takes away Rights from some to give to others under the Socialist rubric of ‘fairness and equality’).
the U.S. Constitution and the founders, saying, “we were just tremendously fortunate in the U.S. that the men that met in Philadelphia were very wise.” But “it’s true that they were lacking one thing, that is there were no women as part of the Constitutional Convention, but there were women around who sparked the idea.”
Ginsburg said “we are still forming the more perfect union” and noted that “when the Constitution was new in the 1780s, we still had slavery in the U.S.”
There it is – not America as it was envisioned and as it is, but that “it is all for naught” given that it is old and those that created it were imperfect, fallen men. Yet, of their time, they were the most radical thinkers of their time in that they placed individual citizens above their Government. A startling concept of the time – that Government should be dependent on its citizens, that the citizens be pre-eminent as opposed to all the other governments of the time where individuals were subservient and subordinate.
And I have NEVER, EVER heard the notion that “women around who sparked the idea.“ What, in addition to slavery, the fact that no woman was part of the Constitutional Congress makes the Constitution a “lesser” document? Ah yes, feminism pokes it head up out of the muck. What is it about Liberals / Progressives that their kneejerk reaction is to subdivide and not just treat all folks as just “Citizens”? Justice is supposed to be blind – wouldn’t that include gender based as well? Why is it that unless every single one of the Left’s special identity groups is represented, it is never legitimate?
She correctly talks to the point that unless the People really desire Liberty, even the best Constitution won’t work. I would also add that unless the Supreme Court Justices completely imbue and live that self same ideal as proclaimed by our Founders, it won’t matter if the People really desire Liberty with the best Constitution. If those that are responsible for using the Constitution as a standard against which all else is measure are employing a philosophy opposed to that of the Founders, well, you get what was in the videol