Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Katie Couric yesterday to discuss everything from her retirement plans (or lack thereof) to her fashionable collar collection. While addressing the controversial Hobby Lobby v. Burwell case, Ginsburg made an eyebrow-raising comment about five of her fellow justices.
In the highly anticipated decision, the high court ruled that closely held for-profit corporations would not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with their religious beliefs. Although Hobby Lobby was willing to provide 16 of the 20 birth control methods required under the mandate, those who spoke out against the business asserted that Hobby Lobby’s faith was infringing on their employees.
Couric asked, “All three women justices were in the minority in the Hobby Lobby decision. Do you believe that the five male justices truly understood the ramifications of their decision?”
“I would have to say no,” Ginsburg replied. “But justices continue to think and can change. So I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be opened tomorrow.”
Couric pressed, “But you do, in fact, feel these five justices had a bit of a blind spot?” to which Ginsburg responded, “In Hobby Lobby, yes.”
Granted, Katie Couric asked a leading question but Justice Ginsburg’s response still stands. The five justices in the majority happened to be male while three of the four dissenters were female. Could this not possibly be because those who ruled in favor were appointed by Republican presidents and tend to vote more conservatively? Likewise, the remaining four were appointed by Democrat presidents and tend to vote more liberally.
Does Justice Ginsburg truly believe that it's impossible for male judges to see past their “blind spot” of being male in order to understand a case and uphold the Constitution? Imagine the national outrage that would occur if a male justice assumed the same of his female counterpart.
Parting thought: The legal team for Hobby Lobby was entirely comprised of women. Chew on that.
Watch the interview here: