Poor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! In becoming a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, she swore to
“administer justice… and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America under the [United States] Constitution…. So help me God.” — Title 28, Chapter I, Part 453, United States Code
Yet such is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s embarassment with that outmoded document that we call the Constitution — [Yes, the one that she swore to uphold] — that she had to appear this week on post-Mubarak Egypt’s national TV network to warn them:
“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.”
Why is it that Justice Ginsburg doesn’t see her own Constitution. also, as a “fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights and an independent judiciary”? After all, Americans have enjoyed such a long and unparalled history of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under its protections! And, by contrast, the violent protests in South Africa since 2004 have caused that country’s foremost historian and political scientist, Abahlali BaseMjondolo, to call it the most politically unstable society in the world.
Oh — but, of course, the South Africa Constitution does contain one explicit constitutional right that cannot be found anywhere in the text of the United States Constitution. In Chapter Two, Section 12,1 and 2, it specifically recognizes a guaranteed human right to kill life in the womb at any stage and without any need for any justification.
Gee! Too bad nations can’t trade players like professional athletes. Justice Ginsburg might be so much happier in South Africa! And maybe we could find some appropriate place here for Professor BaseMjondolo to serve. I don’t know much else about him but at least, unlike Justice Ginsburg, he seems to have some basic rooting in reality.