08 July 2009

Should She Be Impeached?

"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." (Emphasis mine) ~ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Elitist snob. Exactly which populations does Ms. Ginsburg not "want to have too many of?" Doesn't anyone find that comment shocking? Notice that the NYT reporter didn't bother to follow up. How in the world did that comment get by the reporter and through the editing process? Am I missing something here?

I wonder if we'll hear an outcry from the left and calls for her resignation - nah. Its ok to suggest this kind of thing if you happen to be an elitist and a leftist. The indignation of the left is always selective which is why they have no credibility.


Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Gotta love 'em, eh?



Marc Ferguson said...

it seems clear from the context that Justice Ginsburg is pointing to a concern that poor women would be coerced into having abortions in the interest of population control. She goes on to say that this did not occur, and furthermore that government has no business being involved in women's decision-making about abortion. Your inference that she is advocating selective use of abortion for population control seems unfounded.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


I agree with part of your statement in clarifying *part* of what she said. I don't see where she clarified or explained "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."

Her comments that follow do not, as far as I can see, in any way explain that specific comment. Maybe I'm missing something. Help me.

James Bartek said...

As Ginsburg was not on the court in 1973, I should think she was articulating her fears that, given "popular" opinion at the time, that the manner in which abortion was legalized (allowing its coverage under Medicaid) would lead to the selective elimination of the poor and other "undesirables."

The newly released Nixon tapes (a gift which keeps on giving), where he privately mulls the court's decision, suggests her fears were not without foundation:

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” [Nixon] told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”


Of course, now she views the 1980 ruling forbidding Medicaid coverage of abortion in a different light, suggesting that it ensures "women of means" will always have access, while the poorer classes, who cannot afford the procedure, are denied a choice. Whether one is pro-choice or pro-life, she makes a valid point.

Pam Walter said...

I can't find further clarification on her part for this comment either. www.satisfiedsole.com

chaps said...

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, explicitly wanted to use birth control and abortion to reduce the population of "...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born." Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people.

Justice Ginsburgs comments are right in line with the motives of Planned Parenthood and other abortion proponents.

Bob Pollock said...


I don't know a lot about Ginsburg, so I wouldn't want to debate you regarding her character, but I read the article you linked to and I don't understand your interpretation.

The Roe decision was what - 1972? Ginsburg has been on the bench since 1993. She is not saying the possible rationale for Roe you have highlighted is her opinion. It is only her perception of the rationale behind the original decision. In fact she seems to be saying she did not approve of that rationale, as she was concerned that that view would lead to the coercion of women to have abortions who did not really want them.

Perhaps she could have said it better, but that makes this comment at the beginning of the interview all that more interesting:

"Think of how many times you’ve said something that you didn’t get out quite right, and you would edit your statement if you could."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


I've heard and read similar things about Sanger, (I realize her worldview aligns with that statement) but I was curious, do you have a source where she said or wrote that?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Pam - I didn't think I would be the only one.

James, Bob:

Sorry, but I'm not going to let her off the hook quite that easy. There is plenty of room for my read here and with Ginsburg, supposedly being so brilliant, she needs to be specific when making such a statement if she means something other than what she is saying.

She used the pronoun "we" when she could have used different phraseology. Perhaps a Freudian slip?

To whom is she referring in using "we?" And to which "populations" is she referring? This begs the question - which "populations" would she want "more" of?

At the very least, the reporter should have pursued the statement. You can be sure they would have if that been Clarence Thomas's comment.

Regarding not having a choice, I disagree. A choice was made when deciding to engage in sexual activity if not prepared to accept the consequences. Bad choices lead to bad consequences.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether she is describing her own views or those of others, she used the phrase “particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” which indicates she views certain segments of the population as "undesirables."

Would anyone disagree and to whom is she referring?

Bob Pollock said...

Yes, I will disagree. I think she is referring to the general white American who fears the lower classes, the immigrant, and anyone who doesn't look or conform to their idea of what an American should be, and therefore has always wanted those groups controlled. Since she herself is a white American and a part of that power structure, she used the collective term "we". That doesn't mean agrees with the idea she expressed.

Richard,sometimes we get wrong meanings from printed matter because we can't hear voice inflection or see facial expression. I'm sure you have experienced that with blogging. You asked "What am I missing?" Well I'd ask the same question here. Again, I'm no expert on Ginsburg, but isn't she considered a liberal voice on the bench? Wouldn't what you are accusing her of be a contradiction of her record?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


I read her comment differently than you, of course. And I disagree with your characterization of "the general white American." There is, however, a segment of the population that does want more "control" over American citizens - the political class - restrict free speech, restrict 2nd amendment rights, public displays of faith, choice in schooling, etc, etc. Ginsburg belongs to that class. So to use your terminology, if anyone "fears" certain segments of the population, its elitists like Ginsburg. I read her comment as elitist and referring to the poor in general and those lower in class than whatever her definition of "we" includes.

I do agree with you that its easy to lose meaning when reading something in print due to inflection and expression. I acknowledge that is possible here, but I don't believe so.

Contradiction of her record? Absolutely not. I believe she is an elitist. Being a liberal does not preclude that mindset - as a matter of fact, I think it nourishes it. Again, I appreciate your comments and reiterate that I could be misreading her comment here, but I don't think so.