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We look at the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the future of the Supreme Court, in a wide-ranging interview with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, where she is the senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter. Ginsburg died September 18 at the age of 87 after serving 27 years as a Supreme Court justice, where she became the most prominent member of the court's liberal wing.
Her death just 46 days before the November election sets up a major political battle over her replacement, with President Trump and many Senate Republicans vowing to nominate and confirm a right-wing judge to fill her seat by Friday or Saturday. In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama's pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 269 days before the election. "Hypocrisy doesn't begin to touch on that," says Lithwick. "The court is profoundly misaligned, both with popular opinion polling and with the will of this country."
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: We spend the hour looking at the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the future of the Supreme Court. Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87 after serving 27 years as a Supreme Court justice, becoming the most prominent member of the court's liberal wing.
Ginsburg first gained fame in the 1970s, when she co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, winning five. She once famously quoted the abolitionist Sarah Grimke' during one of her oral arguments.
RUTH BADER GINSBURG: In asking the court to declare sex a suspect criterion, we urge a position forcibly stated in 1837 by Sarah Grimke', noted abolitionist and advocate of equal rights for men and women. She said, "I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks."
AMY GOODMAN: Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a federal appellate judge in 1980, then, in 1993, was sworn in as just the second female Supreme Court justice. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she openly defended the right to have an abortion.
JUDGE RUTH BADER GINSBURG: This is something central to a woman's life, to her dignity. It's a decision that she must make for herself. And when government controls that decision for her, she's being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.
AMY GOODMAN: The Senate confirmed Ginsburg 96 to 3.
As a Supreme Court justice, she was a strong supporter of reproductive rights, women's rights, expanding LGBTQ rights and preserving President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
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