Archive for the ‘Linda Hirshman’ Category

8ca285ec5b13284911299fb26434976bSisters in Law : How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World  is a thorough history of the legal cases dealing with women’s rights that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, especially, and to a lesser extent Sandra Day O’Connor were involved in. RBG as a lawyer with the ACLU went to the Supreme Court three or four times with groundbreaking cases, and when they were both on the Supreme Court O’Connor made a point of helping RBG integrate onto  the court, and they were allies in many ways, with RBG being the leading liberal and O’Connor putting brakes on many judgments, while still voting in favor of women. She often wanted the ruling to be interpreted in the narrowest way possible. It’s a little dry but I appreciated the detail–without which it would have been a less gripping story. Hirshman  feels that these two judges changed the legal  landscape of the USA over a 30 year period.

Comment from Lois

That’s a principle of Supreme Court decision-making which is sometimes honored, sometimes not: that decisions should be “narrow” and, if possible, not reach beyond the issue presented. Included in that, is the principle that IF an issue can be decided without referring to a Constitutional section, it should be. (Often an issue is how to interpret a statute. If you can limit the decision to the statute, without involving a Constitutional discussion or finding, you should.)


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