Trashing the Constitution

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Every Supreme Court justice is required, under Article VI of the United States Constitution, to be bound by his or her oath or affirmation “to support this Constitution.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just broken this commitment by insulting, in front of a foreign audience, the very document she is sworn to support.

In an interview during her visit to Cairo, which aired January 30, 2012 on Al-Hayat TV, Justice Ginsburg advised the Egyptian people to ignore the U.S. Constitution in preparing their own new constitution. It’s just too “old,” she said. Instead, Justice Ginsburg  lavished praise on several post-World War II foreign documents such as the South African constitution, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the European Convention on Human Rights.

“I might look at the constitution of South Africa,” Justice Ginsburg said. It is “a great piece of work that was done.”

“You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights,” she continued.

As for her own country’s constitution, Justice Ginsburg said she “would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a new constitution in 2012.”

Quite the contrary. Justice Ginsburg believes that contemporary foreign laws and decisions should be used by her and other Supreme Court justices in determining the meaning of provisions of our own constitution.

At least there was a time when she believed that the United States can both teach other nations from its own experience as well as learn from the experience of others:

If U.S. experience and decisions may be instructive to systems that have more recently instituted or invigorated judicial review for constitutionality, so too can we learn from others now engaged in measuring ordinary laws and executive actions against fundamental instruments of government and charters securing basic rights.

In her latest remarks to the Egyptian audience, however, Justice Ginsburg no longer saw any teaching value in our constitution.  It’s just too “old.”

Justice Ginsburg’s remarks further confirm what we have suspected all along. This far-left justice, a former general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, has little use for our constitution as it was written.  Typical of progressives, she views the constitution as malleable clay, which she is perfectly happy to refashion according to her idea of what an up-to-date document for 2012 should look like.

Consider the South African constitution, which Justice Ginsburg praised as “a great piece of work” for Egyptians to learn from instead of the U.S. Constitution.

The South African constitution contains a clause protecting free expression. But unlike the right of free speech under our First Amendment, the South African constitution says that the right of free expression does not include “propaganda for war” or “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” These vague exceptions go beyond the very limited “incitement of imminent violence” exception to the First Amendment that our courts have recognized. Instead, they intrude into the very areas of potentially controversial speech that our constitution protects. Is that what Justice Ginsburg is seriously recommending?

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  • Anamah

    Justice Ginsburg is a traitor! It's painful to listen her; I can't believed! Maybe she is showing first signs of senile dementia. After next January she must go.

  • Lady_Dr

    AGREED – in the meantime pray that she lives until Obama is gone. Then she must go.

  • Lady_Dr

    And she is Jewish no less – what the hell was she doing in Cairo to begin with. She is lucky she's not going on trial as well. Of course I guess the MB knows who their friends are. Senile dementia or typical liberal idiocy – it is hard to say.

  • oldtimer

    She has no business commenting on foreign affairs. Did the tax payers pay her way? Why should these so called justices be in their positions for life… No one should have such power, and besides that, as we get older some of us get dementia. She is suppose to support and defend the Constitution of the US. and that is all.

  • http://none Jerry F

    It’s automatic, she’s wrong instead of giving it some thought. THINK for yourselves people, don’t let someone else think for you.

    Is it old, Is it dated? could it be done better, is it perfect?

    Give it some thought.

    People write books for one reason only, OK maybe two reasons, but the big reason is to sell books, the other is vanity, please keep this in mind.

    • davarino

      Ya, sure, the US became the greatest nation on earth, not because we were like every other nation, but because we were special. And now you want to "tweek" it just to see what happens? Really. Well my friend the constitution gets changed only one way, and that is the genius of the founders, just like how the great O is having such a hard time decreeing his edicts. The constitution of the United States of America is the greatest document on earth. Please show me a nation that has a better one.

    • reader

      What any of this has to do with selling books, mr. "thinker"? And while you're thinking about whatever you're thinking about, think about whether what Ginsburg said is any reflection on whether she intends or ever intended to uphold the Constitution having given her Oath. Good timing, though, old Commie hen. Reminds everyone why it is important to elect an AMERICAN president to clean up the Supreme Court among other things.

    • nightspore

      Dear Jerry,

      Take a look at William Schambra's article, "The saviors of the Constitution" in the Winter 2012 issue of National Affairs.

    • Don Kosloff

      I have been thinking about this for more than fifty years. Ginsberg is wrong and there is an amendment process for correcting imperfections.

  • davarino

    I think "justice" ginsburg is just too "old". I think her and all her useful idiots have lost their minds. Once Egypt gets up and running she would be one of the first to die under their rule and whatever backwater constitution they dream up.

  • daniel#8

    Her agenda is obviously not with the best interest of the United States.She should recognise her short comings and retire. An old quote, if your heart isn't America get your a** out. We don't need people using a lifetime appointment to further their political agenda which obviously isn't her feild of expertise.

  • pupsback2back

    Just wait until Sotomayer and Kagen get to be her age and do some stupid interview from Russia or China trashing the U.S. Constitution and praising Communism.__If Obama gets another term, Ginsburg will retire and he gets to put another one in just like her. He may even get a bonus…Robers or Kennedy might go too and then he can tip the scales.

  • Jmham63

    What is it with the Right? Everything is based on belief in old documents. Our Founding Fathers did an excellent job, but the fact that there are Amendments highlights the fact that it wasn't perfect. The Constitution doesn't cover many aspects of life in the 21st century, yet you all go into orbit when one of the Justice tells Egypt – hey since your starting with blank paper, you might want to look at these documents as well. Can you seriously believe that an Arab nation would be well served by our Constitution? Do you not expect as an example that their document, when it emerges, will have been more than a little influenced by Islam?

    • Joseph Klein

      You missed the main point. It's not that Justice Ginsburg advised the Egyptians to look at various constitutions, such as South Africa's, as models for their own constituiton. It's that she advised them in effect to ignore entirely our own constitution as too old to be of any value. And of course Islamic law (sharia) will not only influence, but dictate, what emerges in Egypt, which, despite the high-sounding verbiage, will bear little resemblance in fact to any of the documents she cited.

    • dirt

      The amendments of our Constitution actully leads the US into our current demise because it sticks to the popular idea in those days.

      How about the PC? It would be a crazy world if we are required to change our mind according to the person being elected every 4 years or so, if not more often.

      When people abolish their foundation, they are indeed doomed.

  • Ryan

    The US Military oath of enlistment also requires support of the Constitution. Specifically, "to support and DEFEND the Constitution against ALL ENEMIES, foreign and DOMESTIC." Taken quite literally, this means I am just as obligated to take arms against my own government that trashes this document, as I am against Al Qaeda. There's a lot of pissed off people in the military right now. I suggest the government TREAD LIGHTLY!

  • tagalog

    Justice Ginsburg is too old; she's lived with her liberal beliefs far beyond their effective date.

  • tanstaafl

    Dhimmi fool. ( or tool, I suppose that works as well)

  • Joe Killian

    The Army ordering chaplains not to read the message from the Archbishop is astounding! But there are way too many people that consider our constitution to be "Obsolete" like Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, our supreme court Justice sworn to uphold our US Constitution! She suggested publicly that the new Egyptian government model a constitution after South Africa, which is essentially a socialist state and totally "Crony capitalist" not a real democracy at all. Is she demented? Seriously…!

    The article and Bader Ginsburg's own words. Here's the absolute proof!!! Can we impeach her? This is a legal question of course but is this not a violation of the cannons of judicial etiquette and protocol?

  • maria

    Islam is in war with our great country. Even before 9/11 they proclaimed that "America is a great satan" and that THEY will dominate. Judge Ginsburg is obvios traitor. Can you imagine that during WWII anyone would come to Hitler's Germany and said that USA is obsolete country? Insanity but even worser. The Leftists/progressists/socialists led our country to destruction. By the way they even don't understand that they will be victims as well but not only we are people. Our constitution is our main treasury. As for Egypt it is obvious that MB and sulafits will take power (they work on it 50+ years) and they set up shariat law. What is interesting that after Prez. BHO Cairo speech soon all that turmoil with radicalization islamization in ME started. All pro-western leaders were toppled. Sure, Mubarak was not the best but in comparison with MB and sulafits… Islamism is in rise using our country 2008 greatest mistakes.

  • Crossbow87

    Justice Ginsburg should be impeached and convicted since she doesn't like our Constitution.

  • flyingtiger

    She is too pld for the job. Time for her to resign.

  • StephenD

    By her own words she is an enemy of the Constitution. Because something is old cannot be the criteria to measure with but rather is it true and just. For me, truth is timeless. The Constitution is what our Republic is based on. A majority cannot run roughshod over a minority as it would in a democracy. The majority are restrained by the Constitutional Laws. THIS is what makes us the better system of all. The fact that the Constitution serves to constrain the Government most of all may put a spur under their saddle but it works for the rest of us.

  • tagalog

    We are called upon to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Supreme Court justices serve for life upon good behavior.

    Enough said?

  • brian

    Why isn't she charged with sedition or treason? Why is it a life appointment anyway? One more Democrat supreme court justice and we as a nation will be done.

  • dirt

    MB would not listen to her since she is a subclass in their view.

  • Maxie

    Many years ago the ACLU took on the task of politicizing our judicial system by stuffing it with leftist lawyer/judges. Ginsberg, and now Kagan, are the poster girls for this tactic to selectively negate the Legislative branch of government and advance the Leftist Agenda via Court imposed edicts. Somewhere Marx is smiling.

    • George Beamer

      Ginsberg is probably right. As a lawyer for 50+ years & a Judge for 28 of those years I have a deep reverance for the U.S. Constitution. Still, it is more than 200 years old . It also contains all those compromises about our slaves who count as fractional human beings. Please remember that later draftsmen have stood on the shoulders of our founding fathers. Still they are not as great, as we were the First constitional democracy!

      • reader

        Are you the judge George Beamer who passed away in 1973? Judging by your post you aren't that up and up on constitutional matters. Try reading Levin's Men in Black before your next post, will ya?

      • Maxie

        The Constitution may be 200 years old but its' vesting of power in the individual citizen and not in the State remains its core value and as valid now as then. It also remains as a target of the utopian socialists and authoritarian collectivists who lust for the power to play with the lives of the citizenry as a means of their own redemption. Not a good thing.

      • truckwork

        I don't believe that we were a Constitutional Democracy. I believe that we are a Republic. A very different form of government that protects the rights of all citizens over that of the majority (Democracy). The problem with Democracies is that they eventually lead to anarchy and become either a Oligarcy or Dictatorship form of government. The Founding Fathers wrote the constitution based upon a Republic to prevent just that sort of issue.
        Regarding slavery the Thirteenth amendment to the Constitution corrected that.
        Most importantly what too many liberals and others who make statements regarding the constitution as an old unworkable document written 200 years ago miss is it's founding premise. That this Country was formed for the People of the People and by the People. This means that the government is not intended to tell the People what they can and cannot do, however the constitution was meant to bind the federal government down so that it couldn't become the tyranical government that the Colonists had to deal with in King George. The fact that a sitting US Supreme Court Judge doesn't understand that or is ignoring that is simply astounding.

  • http://%BLOGTITLE%-justgreat! worldclock

    Trashing the Constitution | FrontPage Magazine – just great!

  • jackphat

    Will Ginsberg now recuse herself from all aspects of the Courts on the grounds the United States Constitution is just too old? How can she claim impartiality after making this statement heard around the world?

  • Don from BC

    Regarding the Canadian "Notwithstanding Clause", there are two things I'd like to bring up.

    1. It requires renewal every 5 years.
    2. It is the reason that Quebec's Language Laws are still enforced even though the SCoC ruled them to be Unconstitutional.

    It isn't a great piece of legislation, but it does provide a way to ignore the Supreme Court of Canada. I, for one, would prefer the US Constitution's absolute guarantee of Free Speech instead of Canada's conditional guarantee of Free Speech.


    "The United States Constitution is one of the greatest documents for freedom and liberty that has ever been written and is still the premier model for other nations truly interested in building a durable democratic republic. Justice Ginsburg should unequivocally reaffirm her oath to “to support this Constitution” or resign."

    (1) it is precisely *because* the constitution is greatest document protecting individual liberties and rights that ginsburg hates it.
    (2) ginsburg is not going to apologize, nor reaffirm anything, and resigning is out of question. What are you going to DO about it?
    (3) There *is* a problem with our constitution—it defends individual rights, but it has no mechanism which allows it to defend itself against attacks by the left. For Obama and ruth bader, and all leftists, it is just a paper which has something scribbled on it, and the left has been using it for an asswipe for two centuries ever since Marshall took the bench as the chief justice of the supreme court. None of the procedural and other such popular and populist mechanisms have worked against this steady erosion of the Constitution (and the individual rights). You folks elected 44 presidents and god knows how many legislations to office—has any of those things stopped or even slowed down the bulldozer the left has been rolling on your constitution? The real question is: How are you planning to change that circumstance?

  • citizen

    a dotty old fool dithering in a bubble of empty prattle and mumbling