September 16, 2011

Justice Ginsburg Reaffirms Support For LGBT Equality

Professor Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at University of California Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made an unexpected trip down an emergency evacuation slide, with other passengers, at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday. The captain ordered flight attendants to evacuate San Francisco bound United flight 586, when the passenger cabin started to fill with smoke, due to an engine fire.

The 179 passengers, and Justice Ginsburg, were placed on later flights and made it to San Francisco International Airport late in the evening. The Justice was able to keep her date with the students, faculty and staff at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, for their “Legally Speaking” Series of interviews and lectures of prominent lawyers and judges.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Justice Ginsburg spoke about the death penalty, and also called for LGBT equality, in her UC Hastings speech. The Clinton appointee spoke about the landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision, that struck down Texas sodomy laws. She related that the Supreme Court “recognized that consensual relations between two people do no harm to anyone and cannot be subject to government prohibitions.”

The 78 year old jurist also made strong statements about the death penalty.
“I would probably go back to the day when the Supreme Court said the death penalty could not be administered with an even hand, but that’s not likely to be an opportunity for me.” 
It’s refreshing to hear a 78 year old Justice, and cancer survivor, speak directly to an issue, without hyperbole or innuendo. I think she’s an unsung hero, and a strong ally of the LGBT community. My friends on the extreme right should take note - that consensual behavior between adults “cannot be subject to government prohibitions.”

Sounds right to me.

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