In the current issue of the New York Times Magazine, Emily Bazelon interviews Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (PDF) about the importance of women sitting on the Supreme Court bench. No stranger to the feminist movement, before her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ginsburg helped to launch the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.
In the interview, Justice Ginsburg discusses why she believes a justice’s background influences decision-making, her working relationships with her male peers, and a few of this term’s most difficult cases. The interview also focuses on Ginsburg’s impressions of how the Court has handled sex discrimination and reproductive choice cases, reiterating her statements that Roe v. Wade and other cases regarding abortion must be brought in line with our understandings of sexual and economic equality.
“Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.”
When asked to clarify what “straightening out” might mean, Justice Ginsburg says “The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman.”