At 81, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is still going strong and is outspoken. Since the Warren Court, which presided over landmark Civil Rights cases in the 1960s, the notion of “activist judges” keen on making decisions that reflected views on social policies has been controversial, Justice Ginsburg makes no bones about her belief that the highest court in the land has become remiss in addressing issues of race.
One notable dissent of Justice Ginsburg was on the overturning of the Voting Rights Act. She said, “Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places that have had a greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful racial discrimination.” In a recent interview with The National Law Journal, she decried the events that unfolded with race riots in Ferguson as an example that the U.S. is slipping when it comes to dialogue about race.
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In half a century since important civil rights decisions were made by the Supreme Court, many areas of the country still suffer from segregation. “Once gay people began to say who they were, you found out it was your next door neighbor, your child or someone we admired. That understanding doesn’t exist with race. You still have separation of neighborhoods where races are not mixed. It’s the familiarity with people who are gay that still doesn’t exist with race and it will remain that way for a long time as long as where we live remains divided.”