Ginsburg: Don’t look to US Constitution … it’s not a good model for government

Not only does Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg think the Supreme Court and state courts should look to the laws of other countries as a guide when making decisions, she also would not suggest looking to the United States Constitution as a model for newly established governments in 2012.

Big government nanny state liberal justice. Hat tip to Phineas at Sister Toldjah. Ginsbury states…

You should certainly be aided by all the constitution-writing that has gone one since the end of World War II. I would not look to the US constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the US constitution – Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?

Explosive? In her mind, not so much. She says the point is the US Constitution was written in a time so different then modern day, it should be more inclusive of modern-day concerns.

Ginsburg’s not a fan of a constitution that limits the rights of the government. She’d rather take the approach of creating a super-long document that covers everything she can think of from health care to Internet broadband access. You know, a second, all-inclusive “Bill of Rights” ignoring the fact true human rights must exist simultaneously between all people, and the exercising of one’s rights can not diminish the rights of another.

If you have a “right” to comfortable housing with a good-quality HVAC unit offering zero emissions so it protects the environment, who should pay for that? Ginsburg thinks the government should, justifying and legalizing the taking of property from one to distribute to another.

It’s disturbing to me Ginsburg feels so strongly against the value of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights that she’s more than willing to tell Arab states and other countries to ignore it in a public forum.

Eugene Volokh notes…

This criticism [against Ginsburg] strikes me as quite misplaced. Justice Ginsburg swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and I suspect she thinks that the U.S. Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. political practice, works pretty well in the U.S. But why should she (or we) think that the 1787 constitutional text, coupled with the 27 amendments that have come in fits and spurts since then, would necessarily work well for a completely different country today?

I certainly agree the United States’ version of our Constitution would not necessarily be a good fit for other countries, but I totally disagree Ginsburg thinks our Constitution works well for the United States. She wants the federal government to have the power to do even more.

AP at Hot Air

I’m actually sort of charmed that a left-wing jurist thinks it matters much what’s written in a nation’s constitution. Our Supreme Court managed to tease a right to abortion out of a clause governing legal procedure, didn’t it? Seventy years earlier, a right-wing Court teased a right of contract out of the same provision. If you can do that, there ain’t much you can’t do.

Good point. We’ve got federal dollars being used to build brick crosswalks in local communities, and fund cops at a local level … so we’ve had the flood gates wide open since the New Deal. It is the disease from which all symptoms derive.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on February 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Any Supreme Court Justice that rejects the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, as new, legal immigrants are taught, to which they swore an oath to support, should step down.? Ginsburg is a doddering, ACLU bred socialist/statist that would like nothing better than having the Constitution rewritten to her terms, the kind of terms that are tanking Europe right now.?
    The very purpose of the Constitution is to limit government.?? She conflicts with her own opinions: in 2009, she told the NYTimes about abortion:? “[t]he basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman.”,? but she has no qualms about the government telling you to put cuffs on the first two Amendments to the Constitution (at minimum), things that are explicitly delineated.? The government should not be seizing private property for private “economic development” (read it: tax income boost), yet she defended that in the Kelo decision.? Etc., etc.
    Statism should not trump the Constitution.? Supreme Court Justices should be asked about that before being confirmed.

  2. Murphy on February 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    We should be able to fire her or at least charge her with perjury since she took the following oath and obviously lied.
    “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.? So help me God.”

  3. JBS on February 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Where’s that Lemon Law for Lawyers and Jurists? We only give her credence and validity by paying attention to her senile ramblings.?
    She has abrogated her position on the SCOTUS by reneging on her oath of office.
    Too bad we couldn’t vote her out and, nah, better to keep the devil we know that . . .

  4. sammy22 on February 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    A Supreme Court Judge can be impeached, so how about starting a “movement” to impeach Judge Ginsburg.

    • Dimsdale on February 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Sounds good to me!? I am just wondering which protected group will be the most “outraged” by her needed ouster….

    • Lynn on February 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Great idea. However, I have so many causes right now, I can’t think straight. Repeal Obamacare, get rid of ALL czars, impeach Holder, get rid of Dept. not doing anything.? I’ll try

  5. ricbee on February 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Ginsberg needs to be put away. She’s not stupid & that statement directly conflicts with the Constitution.

  6. johnboy111 on February 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

    think of what 4 more years would bring????

    • Lynn on February 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Please I can’t think of that. I need real HOPE and CHANGE

    • Dimsdale on February 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      If you can’t answer the question “are you better off today than you were four years ago” positively, then you should be very afraid of the possibility of four more…

  7. PatRiot on February 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    She has disqualified her self as a credible Justice.
    Remember the phrase “They always tell you what they are doing”.?
    She spouts the same rhetoric as Ezra Klein.? The Constitution is confusing,etc.? Just a lead in to replacing it.?
    “With what?” Says I.? Show me something more benevelant to the full development of mankind’s potential?and I will happily discuss it.? They have something less as of yet.? But that won’t stop them from saying the Constitution is broken.? “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels – one of Hitler’s best.
    – How pitiful to settle for something less because we don’t want to put in the mental effort !
    Shall we toss out even older texts?? The Magna Carta? Hammurabi’s Code???The Bible??The Torah?? The ?Quran? ?The ?Tibetan Book of the dead?
    So, instead of?supporting and defending that which promotes?responsibility and independence, they would settle for what?? The supposed leaders?being babysitters of an ever dependent citizenry????? Please…

  8. Shared Sacrifice on February 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Someone’s got to sleep with that woman- otherwise, we’ll have a constitution like the tax code or the Obama-Care bills!? Do we have any volunteers??

    • Lynn on February 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      I nominate you!


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