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Judging Alone: Reflections on the Importance of Women on the Court

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 September 2010

Karen O'Connor
Affiliation:
American University
Alixandra B. Yanus
Affiliation:
High Point University

Extract

“The word I would use to describe my position on the bench is lonely.” So said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2007, when asked to comment on her position on the U.S. Supreme Court after the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. After a year as the Court's only woman, Ginsburg had begun to feel the solitude that comes from judging alone, being the Court's only descriptive and often symbolic representative of women's interests. Ginsburg's position was not, sadly, as rare as we might hope in industrialized democracies. Although some countries, such as Canada, have had near majorities of women on their respective high courts, other countries, such as the United Kingdom, continue to have only one woman on their national tribunals.

Type
Critical Perspectives on Gender and Politics
Copyright
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2010

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