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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  September 23, 2012 2:00pm-3:34pm EDT

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about antiamerican anger in the middle east. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers are on the screen, 202-737-ooo1 for democrats, 202-737-ooo2 for republicans, and for independents, 202- 202-628-o2o5. you can also get in touch with us via social media. before we get to the phones i want to bring your attention to a story in this morning's new york daily news, libyans force thugs with slave ties to flee, the my laisha linked to the murder of u.n. ambassador chris stevens was force to flee its compound after being attacked by furious fellow country men, armed with rifles, machetes, the angry libyans kicked al sharia out of its benghazi headquarters and chased fighters from the bays. what's the significance of what happened over the weekend in libya to the situation that we're trying to come to terms with and
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react to, the killing of the u.s. ambassador, chris stevens, and the attack on our consulate in benghazi? guest: there are really two points we should take away from what's going on in libya. the first is the response to the libyan government and in this case the libyan people actually attacking the terroristis are really quite encouraging, very different from the egyptian response, of course, again. the egyptian government did not denounce the attacks until a couple of days later when it was under pressure, the ruling party called for new protests in libya, very different, immediate denunciation of the attacks, the need to step up the deal esp confrontation with militants. but the second thing we have to remember about libya, this is still an instance in which a different kind of, you know, unofficial response, that is, you know, to put it mildly, a different kind of mob response, one that we like, one that was very much antiterrorist was used to fight the terrorists, and
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that suggests that the libyan government is still a very, very weak, its domestic police force is still very weak, so even though we're seeing a very good response in libya, the libyan government remains so weak in confronting it that it takes kind of a major outpouring from the libyan public and a different kind of vigilante type of attack to address the terrorism. host: are we moving into a situation where the degrees of friendship or cooperation between, for example, libya and egypt are reversing themselves? libya now becoming more of our friend, egypt, not so much? guest: we hope not. we hope that the proper polices can be put in place that will, at the very least, force president morsi to behave responsibly. and what that requires is rather than simply engaging egypt and engaging this new government on the assumption that with enough aid and enough friendliness, they'll act as we want them to, we
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really need to pressure morsi, we need to tell morsi very clearly if he wants american investments, wants us to forgive $1 billion in loans, wants continued economic and military aid, he's going to have to take stronger stances against attacks on our embassies, he's going to have to tamper down antiamericanism. frankly, i think a condition of him getting a meeting with president obama should be his renunsiation of his 9/11 conspiracy theories. president morsi is a well documented 9/11 conspiracy theorist and this president should not be giving the president of egypt the primatur without the president having to walk back the hostile things he's said against the united states. host: our first call comes from harmon, new york, knoll, go ahead. caller: first of all, i think the insane foreign policy of our administration, be it democratic or republican, has
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led to these problems. now, interventionist polices, with the arab spring, if i recall, libya, egypt, were backed by our governments, whether democrats or republicans, we knew there were terrorists in those countries, we knew there was al-qaeda in those countries. have we basically -- it's an insane policy, and i do believe insane. we have backed these individuals. we should have less interventionist polices in these governments and should be more neutral and stay out of these insane, insane predicaments we put ourselves into. this is not the way this country should be going. host: eric trager. guest: i want to draw a distinction. i think it's inaccurate to say that we supported, the united states supported, the emergence of the muslim brotherhood in egypt. i think we have to have a difference between things that happen domestically in foreign countries and then the way those countries behave externally. from having been in tahrir
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square during the administration, fall of mubarek, emergence of the muslim brotherhood, emergence of president morsi, these are events very hard to shape from 6000 miles away and we should be very realistic as to what foreign policy can and cannot accomplish. what it can accomplish is affecting the way this new government now that it's been constituted bee haves externally. we can use various tools of policy to pressure it, specifically, in this case, military and economic aid, and we should be putting real -- we should be stating very clear red lines as to what the conditions are for that aid continuing. i agree that this administration has not done that enough. but there is still time to right this policy. and certainly, president morsi's visit to the united states is a great time to state very, very clearly what the conditions are for continuing a relationship that has kept peace between egypt and its neighbors and has allowed egypt to develop economically.
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. american foreign and military policy with regard to the policy has something to do with
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it. a u.s. designated terrorist organization had plant these demonstrations, which gave rise to the attack on the embassy. prison for having been involved in the 1993 attack on the world trade center. so there's a disagreement with policy. america is going to try to imprison people who try to attack us and those are not going to be happy about it. what's important is that the administration, whoever is in the white house, stands our ground on what is important to us clearly counter terrorism is one of those things. so i don't think that the anger in this case is really due to a web video if it is then i think we should be realistic about the fact that's going to be very hard to counter akt because again this is a you tube clip.
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there are many clips out there. for something that no one was paying attention to that was a very low budget poor production set people off just shows us the challenges we face. but really, if that's going to set people off it's very hard to construct a policy around that. >> we've got a tweet from note scans. >> of course in syria you have an ongoing civil war. i think the expectation is that asad will fall within the next few maybe four to six months are the estimates that i've heard. what emerges in syria though is really an open question. the national council that represent it is opposition is of course dominated by the muslim brotherhood in syria. there are questions whether on that council has that same support inside the country. right now much of the fighting is being led by jihadies so
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it's really a very, very fluid environment in syria. certainly looking at it regionly the brotherhood is supportive of the revolution because i think of the expectation that it will empower the brotherhood in syria and give the new egyptian government a natural ally. but we really have to see how this evolves. >> do these muslim brotherhoods have similar philosophies? are they connected in any way? is it like the brotherhood in syria and egypt, is it like the republican party in ohio and kansas? >> i would be hesitent to draw any parallel between the brotherhood and regular political part eafments first, it is extremely different in the sense that where as to join the republican or democratic party you check a box. joining the brotherhood is a five-to eight-year process where they're vetted for points to their allegiance, their
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willingness to take orders. so really the recruitment is much more like a cult than like any kind of political party. but what the organizations all over the world share is an agreement on five principles which include the koran is their constitution, jihad is their way, and the brotherhood has organizations in, as they've told me, 72 countries around the world. within each country it is believed that the muslim brotherhood organization controls its own affairs and makes its on strategic decision which is pertain to whether or not they will use violence wlrks it participates in elections but what unites them and in egypt and syria and elsewhere including in the united states is this adherence to kind affive broad principles. >> you anticipated my next question. so there are cells here in the united states? >> yes. if you speak to muslim
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brotherhood leaders in egypt they're actually very proud of this which reinforce it is extent to which they're an international organization. i don't think that muslim brotherhood cells in the united states should be the concern for us that they are in egypt where they're actually ruling the country. here of course it's a very small mostly socially focused organization. but i think from a policy perspective the real focus has to be on egypt where it's gained power and in other countries where muslim brotherhood organizations are shaping foreign policy >> that entire discussion is available on-line. coming up tomorrow, we will talk about the presidential campaigns, including the latest fund-raising numbers. our guest is bloomberg news reporter. that is followed by a look at
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syria and the regina -- and the regime. a look at the estimated $1 billion cost of last year's debt ceiling debate. we're joined by the government accountability office. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. ruth bader ginsburg said that gay marriage will likely come before the high court by the end of its new term that begins october 1. this was a response to one of many questions posed to her during a 4. hosted by the university of law school. -- university of colorado law school.
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this is an hour and 15 minutes. [applause] >> there is a great expression, let me say a few words before i speak. those few words are to thank so many people. i want to start with the chancellor, who has been incredibly supportive of bill law school. we are so grateful to have you here. thank you for your support. we have several regions to hear dubin -- regents here. we thank you for all of your
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support and your spirit. we do very much believe in engaging with the community and we want to continue to do so in many ways. in terms of the energy she has brought, this lecture was her brainchild. recognizing that, the chase award was given to her for her leading work in community center. i want to acknowledge her. [applause] finally, all of you make such a difference to us. when i think about what makes us successful as a law school, having a diverse, inclusive, collaborative community of
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outstanding students, faculty, along, and friends gives us a fabulous advantage. this community can come together and make a difference and you all matter in some anyways. i want to thank all of you. i cannot name you all, but you help make a special. when she agreed to come, she said, i do not want to give a lecture, but i would like a fireside chat. i said, that would be lovely. giving myself to a challenging assignment of coming up with a plan for our conversation. it was easy to know where to start. what's a pioneer you have then and many people -- was a pioneer you have then, that many people
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forget, in the 1950's, there were very few women in moscow. -- in law school. >> in those ancient days, i went to law school in 1956, when women were 3% of the lawyers in the country. no woman sat on any federal board of appeals. in the years i was going to law school, no women on any federal court of appeals. i had no women teachers. that was unheard of. what was law school like?
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we thought all eyes were on us, so we'd better be prepared. if we were not come at it would reflect not only ourselves, but on all women. to see the difference, i will tell you the date is the mid- 1970's and women are in law school in numbers. i think it is great that we have so many women. i have a certain longing for the way it was.
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you needed a right answer, you called on the woman. she was always prepared. then you can move on. nowadays, it is no different. women are as unprepared as the men. the law school i attended had to teaching buildings. only one of them have a women's bathroom. if he were in class -- if you were in class you might miss some of the professors pros. if you were taking an exam, in the building without the bathroom, you had to make a mad
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dash to the other building. we never complained. that is the way it was. >> when you graduated law school he face the challenge of finding a job, you had a challenge. firms did not often hire jews, they were skeptical of hiring women, and you were also a mother. how did you get your first break? >> those were my three strikes. [laughter] there was no title 7, i graduated in 1959.
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law firms and some of the finest judges were up front in saying they wanted no women. we hired a woman at this firm wants, and she was dreadful. it was not easy to get that first job. the first job was all important because if you got it and performed well, the next job was secure. i had a great professor. he was a great constitutional law scholar. he was in charge of getting judicial clerks ships for columbia law school students. i was a special cause, he was
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determined to give me a federal clerkship. he recommended me to a judge. my candidate for you this year is ruth bader ginsburg. the judge said, i've looked at her resume, she has a four-year- old daughter. how can i rely on her? the professor said, get for a chance. if she does not work out, there is a man in her class who will step in and take over for her. if you do not give for a chance, i will never recommend a another columbia clerk for you. that is how i got my first job. it was at least a paying job.
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, no one wouldor hire her. so she volunteered to work for a county attorney and said, if you think i am worth it at the end of four months, you can put me on the payroll. that is how she got her first job. >> for those not aware, just to know, -- justice o'connor is coming next year. your husband was someone who was extraordinary on many levels. he supported your career and is quoted as saying his greatest single accomplishment was
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supporting you. he also said, i learned very early on in our marriage that bruce was a terrible cook -- ruth was a terrible cook and for lack of interest, was unlikely to improve. at of self preservation, i decided i'd better learned to cook. you have talked about the salat, -- this a lot, but what did it mean to have him as your life partner? >> i was blessed for 56 years married to a man who's got my work was as important as this -- whose thought my work was as important as his, and to was a great chef. our arrangement in our early
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years was that i would do the everyday cooking and he would do the weekend and company cooking. when my daughter was about 14, 15, in high school, she noticed an enormous difference between mommy's cooking and daddies' cooking and she decided that the money should stay out of the kitchen. since 1980, when i've got my first good job in d.c., i have not cooked a meal. my daughter, because she takes responsibility for keeping me out of the kitchen, she comes once a month and she cooks for me, fills the freezer, and comes
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back the next month. this time, she outdid herself. she made 48 individual meals. i think he would have liked it beyond anything else. the best-selling book in the supreme court gift shop. it is called "supreme chef" and it is a collection of 32 of his recipes. it was put together by the wives of the justices. the justices spouses meet quarterly and they rotate catering responsibilities. martti was always the favorite caterer. justice and legal's wife said --
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make a wife said, let's cookbook. i think he wrote the recipes with me in mind because nothing is left out of it. before each section, one of the supreme court spouses rights her memories of marty. it is very well illustrated. when this book was first in the gift shop, they ordered only 1000 copies. they did a piece on it for npr.
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by 3:00 in the afternoon, they had 3000 orders. >> speaking of your joint enterprise, there is a fabulous story about your experience as a mother and your son at a new york city private school and how they related to you. can you tell that story? >> this is in the 1970's. my child, i called him lively. his teachers called him hyperactive. [laughter] i could expect a call once a month to tell me about my child latest escapade.
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to come down and see the teacher or the school psychologist or the principal. one day, when i was particularly weary, i was sitting in my office and i said, this child has two parents. it is his father's stern. -- turn. marty went to the school and he faced a three stonefaces. what was his crime? your son strolled -- stole the elevator. his response was, how far could he take it? i do not know if it was his humor, when the school held to
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alternate calls, the calls came barely once a semester and there was no great improvement in my son's behavior. i think people were much more reluctant to call a man away from his work than a woman. >> you are conscious of your special role as a woman on the supreme court. after you had surgery, you went to the state of the union because he led the country to see there was a woman on the supreme court. when you joined the court, sandra day o'connor had been the only woman for some time. after she left, you went back to having a single woman. and now there are three. could reflect on the dynamics of the court in terms of what it means to have a woman or more than one woman? >> sandra was alone on the court
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for 12 years. when i showed up, three weeks after pancreatic cancer surgery, it is nothing compared to sandra. she was on the bench in nine days after her breast cancer surgery. we belong to the national association of women judges. if fayed -- they had a reception at the courts in our honor. they presented us with t-shirts. santa's red, i am center, not ruth. i amn dra's read, sandra, not to ruth. mind read, i embrace, not sandra shaw. -- mine read, i am ruth, not
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sandra. we do not look anything alike and we do not speak alike. people like our solicitor general. and then i was there all alone. it was the wrong perception for people to seek just a little woman and eight larger men. but now, if you come to the court, because of my seniority, i sit towards the middle.
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these young women are not shrinking violets. they're very active in questioning. yes, women are here to stay. when i'm asked when with there'll be enough, i said, when there are nine. there have been nine men and nobody has raised the question about that. >> you would often say something and it would be ignored. a male colleague might say the same thing and people would say, what a great idea. does that cover still happen to you?
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can you reflect on why inclusiveness in our society is still such a continuing challenge? >> it does not happen now only because of a very good job i have. there are only nine of us. when i speak, my colleagues listened, just as i listen to each of them. that experience, up with one of my generation, all of them have had -- women of my generation, all of them have had -- most of that is gone. >> the challenge of gender discrimination is one that you spend a lot of your career
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fighting. it is interesting to look at the ark of the chief justice views on this topic. when you argued before the courts and he was on it, he reportedly said comment you would not settle for putting the susan b. anthony on the dollar, would you? he later joined your opinion in the united states versus virginia, calling for women to enter the military institute any also wrote a landmark case concluding that the family would apply to state employers. when you think about the overall evolution of the doctrine and you look at his evolution, how do you explain it? >> let me go back to the case he first mentioned. it was my last argument before the court.
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it was in the fall of 1978. it was a case about putting women on juries. it is not all that long ago that many states either did not put women on juries at all or allow them to sign up if they wanted to serve or had an opt-out system this case was of the latter kind, it was from the state of missouri. the court in kansas city would send out notices for jury duty and the notice would say if you are a woman, you are not required to serve. if you don't wish to serve, check here. if no card was returned, the clerk would assume that the woman did not want to serve.
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this was at a time when most states had changed. the richest a few holdouts, tennessee, missouri -- there were just a few holdouts, tennessee, missouri. i had a precious 15 minutes to argue. i divided the argument with a public defender from kansas city. i spoke second. when that was done, about to sit down, justice rehnquist said, you will not settle for susan b. anthony's face on the new dollar. this is the same man that when i joined the court and my commission was going to be presented by janet reno, most attorney-general sir -- janet
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said, i am not a general, i am ms. reno. he wanted to make sure he could say it. smoothly. so we had a dress rehearsal. he said, ms. reno three times. he cared about getting the right. he did join the judgment. this is about admitting women to the virginia military institute's, a facility the state of virginia operated for men only and had nothing comparable for women. it was not a case about separate
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schools. the women colleges, most of them are on our side. the state cannot make an educational opportunity available for one sex only. in any event, it lacked justice scalia as the lone dissenter. the family medical leave act, the chiefs understanding that it was important for us to make -- it should be part of a worker's life. when you have a sick child, six spouse, a sick parent, you can take time off without putting your job in jeopardy. i would like to say i had something to do with the chief's education, but i do not think that is true. the cases influenced him. most of all, i think he was
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influenced by his granddaughter's. one of his daughters was divorced and she had two girls. and the old chief took responsibility for being a male parent figure for those girls. they loved him and i think he thought about how he would like the world to be for them. >> when you think about this evolution, starting in 1971, the case involving a probate law that said males must be preferred to females in appointed administrators, it is quite a movement in the court's
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position. you literally were there every step of the way. with respect to that first step, could you relate to how you got involved in that case? >> it is a good example of that series of cases because they were all genuine. there were no test cases in the sense that they were set up by organizations. she was a woman from boise, idaho. she and her husband had a son. they separated and sally was given custody of the boy when he was of tender years. and then the boy reached his teens and the father said, i should spend time with him. and the family court judge
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said, now he needs to be prepared for iran's world -- a man's world. salad thought the man's home was not a good place for their son to be. but the judge made the decision. the boy was severely depressed and one day, took one of his father's rifles and killed himself. sally went to be appointed administrator of the boys state -- estate. the haida whole lot at the time read, -- the idaho law at the time read, males must be preferred to females.
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salad took that case with her own lawyer from boise, idaho, through three levels of the idaho courts. when a colleague of mine read the report of the idaho supreme court's decision, he said, this is going to be the turning point case for gender in the supreme court. and he was right. sally reed won a unanimous judgment. the core pretended not to be doing anything new. if you look back, 1961, the court decided a case.
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she was what we would call a battered woman. one day, her philandering husband had evaluated her to the breaking point -- humiliated her to the breaking point. she spied her son's baseball bats in the corner of the room. she brought it down on her husband had. he fell to the floor and that was the end of the argument, at the end of the husband, and the beginning of the murder prosecution. if there were women on the jury, they might better understand her state of mind. even if they did not acquit her of the murder charge, they might come in with a verdict of manslaughter. she was convicted of murder by
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an all male jury. when the case came to the supreme course, we do not understand what this complaint is about. women have the best possible worlds. they're not on the jury rolls, but if they want to serve, they can for the asking. think of how many men would sign up if they did not have to. they did not understand her plight. this was in 1961. 10 years later, the sally reed case came before the conservative court. a very different response. >> during your time in your
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litigating cases, did you have any trials -- might talk about the difference between trial work and appeal work? >> there were some cases i started to at the ground and took all the way up. our cases were not the kind of dramatic trials you might watch on television. the all presented constitutional question. this was a man who whose wife was a math teacher in high
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school, she had a healthy pregnancy, she remained in the classroom until the ninth month. she went to the hospital to give birth and the doctor said, you have a healthy baby boy, but your wife died of an embolism. stephen was determined that he did not work full-time until his child was in school full time. he earned the minimum that he could make combined with social security benefits come and make a living for himself and his infant son. when you went to the social security office, they said, we are very sorry, they said, these are mothers benefits. they're available to widowed mothers, but not a widow
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fathers. i came to know about his case when he wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper. he said, i'd been hearing a lot of talk about women's leaib. this is what happened to me. tell my story to gloria steinem. at the time, i was teaching at rutgers. someone read this letter and she said, that is wrong. that het you suggest contact the american civil used liberties union. that is how we started this case in the district court. it was not a question of
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putting on evidence. the facts undisputed. arguing the point that this law, which was described as beneficial to when and -- to win that all such laws, the root of the discrimination is against the women. but he paid social security taxes just like the rest of us. they did not gain for family the same protection as the family of a male wager. the discrimination begins with the woman and then the man because he is the role of parent rather than breadwinner.
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does not get the benefits. there was a unanimous judgment of the supreme court in that case. we got it from the district course to the supreme court before he reached his third birthday. that is record speed. the accord reached a unanimous judgment, but divided three ways. -- the court reached a unanimous judgment, but divided freeways. three thought it discriminated against the male as parents. one said, i see this from the vantage point of the baby. it makes no sense the child should have the opportunity from
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the sole surviving care of the parent. other cases i was involved in from the ground floor, the pregnant problem. into the early 1970's, if a woman taught in public school, and she began to show, summer between four and six months, she was put on maternity leave. it was on paid leave, she had no right to return. one of the reasons for this policy was after all, we do not want the children to think that their teachers swallowed a
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watermelon. then there were a whole series of cases involving women in service. pregnancy was considered administrative grounds for immediate discharge. another type of case, a woman who had a blue-collar job wanted to get health insurance for her family. her employer had a better package than her husband's employer, so she said, i would like family coverage. her supervisor said, family coverage is available only to men.
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in all these cases, you can see what is at work. the woman is seen as someone who is secondary. the man is the breadwinner. when the man steps out of his proper role as a breadwinner and wants to take care of a baby, the law was not there to protect him. if the woman who wants to get equal pay does not because she is considered not the real breadwinner in the family. >> you brought a number of cases where the men were suffering based on the distinction. can you talk about what drove that decision and why you chose that strategy. >> the first case -- the social
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certification -- security benefits or child and care benefits. then there was the same differential on retirement, a woman could get benefits for herself, but not for her spouse. when she died, survivors insurance, the man could not collect as a survivor. after the wife -- after the case was one, we brought a series of cases to end all of those gender lines. perhaps i should say something about how we stopped using the word sex and started using the word gender. i had a great secretary at
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columbia law school. she said, i am typing these briefs and all over the word sex is sticking out. the first association of that word is not what you want those judges to be thinking about. [laughter] use gender, it is a nice term. it will board often distracting associations -- ward off distracting associations. the message we were trying to get across is that when you pigeonhole people on the grounds of race, religion, whatever, and you do not lead them be free,
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people should not be held back by man-made laws from using whatever god-given talent they have. girls as well as boys should be free to aspire and achieve. >> what is interesting to think about it through 1971, over 100 years after the clause that forms the foundation of this doctrine was adopted as a case study in constitutional law, what lessons do we get from looking at this doctrine that did not come around until after
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100 years -- how does that speak to issues are around jurisprudence? >> the original constitution included the bill of rights, the word equal never appeared. to some people, that is startling because after all, the declaration of independence was the motivating idea, all men are created equal. why wasn't the word equal included in the original constitution? the odious practice of slavery. that is why we do not get the quality principle written into the constitution until the 14th amendment'.
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nor shall any state deny to any person the equal protection of the laws. the reaction to that was everyone knows that the equal protection clause is about to racial segregation, racial discrimination. nothing to do with with women. if you asked the framers of the 14th amendment, what women have the right to own property in their own names, sue and be sued, they would say, certainly not. if they were here today, the idea of a quality has growth
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potential and it was meant to have growth potential, to keep up with society as it changes from generation to generation. one of the earliest arguments by awas in the 1870's woman who thought she should exercise the most basic right of citizens, should be able to vote. so she wrote the equal protection clause and the court said, of course, we agree with you. women are persons, but so, too, our children. will think children have the right to vote.
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that was the attitude in the 1870's. i think the idea of equality and depreciation -- and appreciation racial discrimination, holding people back because of who they are and not what they can do is not compatible with the society that truly believes in equality. world war ii, we went in with segregated troops. we were fighting a war against acism and let's -- yet our armed forces practiced racism.
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the problem of apartheid in america, and then to the notion that all people should have the opportunity to aspire, the chief, -- to achieve, to be whatever they have the ability to do. i think the people who wrote the equal protection clause would probably say, yes, in the 21st century, it certainly includes people who were almost left out. other people were left out, native americans were not considered citizens.
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>> the rights of gays and lesbians under the equal protection clause. and how their issues are likely to follow a similar arch. >> that question goes up against the so-called ginzberg rule. when i went before the senate judiciary committee, but my role was you can ask about anything i have written, about any of the hundreds of decisions i wrote when i was a judge on the court of appeals for the d.c. circuit, but you cannot ask me a question about an issue that is likely to come up before the court.
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not that long ago, congress passed a law called the defense of marriage act, which says marriage is between a man and a woman. if you come from a state that recognizing same-sex marriage, but massachusetts, no other state has to recognize that marriage. the petition for review has been filed in the supreme court. it would be extraordinary for the court to be asked to consider the constitutionality
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of the law passed by congress. i think it is most likely that we will have that issue before the court towards the end of the current term. >> another question comes from the auditorium. can you reflect on not and how it felt to have your request in the dissent answered?
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the first law the president obama signed. opinions. it is not just when you think that the court was wrong, but a egregiously so. i thought most of you had heard about this case. lilly ledbetter was the area
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manager for a goodyear tire plant in alabama. and she was the lone woman in such a position at that plant. when she was engaged in the 1970's, she got a starting salary for people in that position. but over the years, her pay slipped in relation to her male peers. whether she suspected, she did not want to be known as a troublemaker. and then, one day, when she was close to retirement age, one of her co-workers put a slip in her box. it said her salary and then the salary of all the men doing the same job. she was getting 13 cents on the dollar less than the most junior occupant of the same
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position. so she brought a complaint on the title 7. she had a jury trial and won a sizable verdict. the decision was a bold and the court of appeals. and the supreme court said, use two to late. don't you see the losses? you have 180 days from the discriminatory incident to file your lawsuit. 180 days from the first time her pay slipped? women who are breaking new ground don't want to rock the boat. they also know that, if they sue that early on, the defense will be that it had nothing to do with her being a woman. she just did not perform as well as the men. when year after year she gets
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good performance ratings and is even rewarded as one of the top performance, that defense is no longer available could also, many employers to nine give out salary figures. -- also, many employers do not give out salary figures. so how would she know? every time she got a paycheck in which her salary reflected discrimination every month the discrimination is renewed. so she would have 180 days from each paycheck to begin her lawsuit. the experience that lily ledbetter had is something common to women of her generation and my generation. yet the court interpreted these 180 days to run from the very first incident of
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discrimination. since she did not sue them, too bad. my dissent said basically that the law will not discriminate on the basis of sex in employment. surely you meant lilly ledbetter cost case to be covered. my colleagues have given a posthumous reading to this law. the ball is now in congress's court to correct what i see as a misperception by my colleagues of the will of congress. inside two years, the lilly ledbetter act passed overwhelmingly, bipartisan support, and it was the first law that obama signed when he
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took office. >> this question comes from the auditorium here in the no. 5-4 decision said became very high profile -- a number of 5-4 decisions that became very high profile., the court was looking more like a political actor. how do you answer that charge? >> inevitably, there will be cases that will divide that way. overall, our agreement rate is much higher than our disagreement rate. year.had 15 5-4's last
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this agreement is interesting. -- disagreement is interesting. was there something? >> i think so. so you're saying that agreement is not news. it is boring. it is conflict that gets people's attention. yes. and in the cases of constitutional questions, there are very unusual alliances.
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my disagreement rate is highest with justice thomas and with justice scalia. but we also agreed in 61% of the cases. so it is not as though, in every case, there are the usual suspects. still, important questions like campaign finance, we do have very different views. but we know that this institution, which i think it's like no other in the world is something all of us try beyond our very own individual evilegoo
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make it work. the supreme court is the most collegiate place i have ever worked. and i will give you -- you mentioned bush before -- you mentioned bush vs. gore. it was the most intense time that i was on the court. there were shocked divisions -- there were sharp dissendivision. i went to justice kennedy's chambers to watch the news report.
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and then i got the call in my chambers from justice scalia. he said, ruth, why are you still in chambers? go home and take a hot bath. trip as trying as the time was -- as trying as that time was, you had to go on with the january sitting and we did. i think it was almost the same. >> we have two different questions. but they are very similar. looking back on all of the cases that you have decided, can you pick up the ones the were the most influential and maybe the one that your most proud of?
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>> i am very pleased with the vmi case. both of the members of the faculty were elated because it meant they could except women applicants and upgrade their applicant pool and get better -- [laughter] +, when people said to me, women don't want what was called the system that they had for the first year, the rat line. and i said i wouldn't want it and my daughters and granddaughters wouldn't want. but there plenty of women who do
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and may not have the opportunity. the decisions that paved the way for bmi was started at the university of mississippi for women. hogan wanted to be a nurse. mississippi university for women had the best nursing college in the area. so he wanted to go to that school. his case came up in justice o'connor's first year on the court. she wrote the decision saying that the state college for nurses had to admit men who were qualified. first, when i brought that decision home to my husband, he said, ruth, did you write that?
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[laughter] and second, it was her appreciation that you better believe there's something you can do for a field that had been nominally female to get more men to be doing the job because, when men get into the field, pay increases. [laughter] you asked about male plaintiffs. this was accidental. but it turned out that hogan's case tried to get into the women's college was the principal for the women wanted to attend vmi. >> have you gotten letters from women who have cents -- who have since attended vmi? >> yes. and from parents. one night prize most was from a man -- one that i prize most was
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from a man who graduated from vmi. he said -- by the way, only 15% of the graduates enter the military. most of them have careers in business and politics. and you need an all-boy network to help graduates on their way. this man wrote come in my life, i have met women who are as determined as i am, tougher than i am. why shouldn't women have their choice? and some months later, i heard from the same man. the letter enclosed something to paper. i opened it up. it looked like a little tin soldier. the letter said, this is the key to it in the is given to every mother of vmi graduates.
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my mother died last week. i think she would want you to have her committed pin -- her cadet pin. it is something i chairs to this day. >> this next question -- what is the greatest threat you can see to our american legal system? >> the threat that we will be so overcome by security concerns that we will sacrifice the freedom, the individual rights that our country has stood for. maintaining liberty and freedom in a time of terror is always difficult and we have made some
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dreadful mistakes. think of what happened to people of japanese ancestry on the west coast in world war ii. i think we learn from our mistakes. we won't make that mistake again. but it is not being so overwhelmed by security concerns -- of course, security is important -- but our individual rights must be preserved. otherwise, we are no different from the forces we are fighting against. >> how do you feel the supreme court has shared in the terrorism case it has seen in the last decade? >> i think the court has done pretty well, starting with the government's first position on guantanamo bay. guantanamo bay is no man's land.
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it is not a part of the united states. we rented from cuba -- we rent it from cuba. to the extent that law exists in guantanamo bay, it iu.s. law. there is no other power. certainly castro is not controlling what is happening there. so the government has said get rid of habeas corpus. it does not extend to guantanamo bay. yet it does. for that purpose, it was part of the usa. and we have many cases still in the lower courts. so all of the terms are not in. >> so the next question is one i know you never get.
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what is your view of the nomination process? and how in any way might be improved to make it less, some would say, for straying or demeaning? >> and it was -- frustrating or demeaning? >> it has not always been the way. there were divided votes and all of those cases. people tend to vote along party lines. contrast that with the way it was when i was nominated in 1993 and justice fryer the following year. my biggest supporter on the senate judiciary committee was senator orrin hatch. and he confirmed that.
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he wrote an autobiography in which he takes great pride in the present -- in president clinton having called him before he nominated me and said, orin, i am thinking of nominating ruth with bitter ginsberg. -- i am thinking of nominating ruth bair ginsburg. it was the bipartisan spirit -- the hearings when over three days, but there were no hardball questions. so the senators were mostly using me to speak to me to their constituents to show how caring there were, how well-informed they were. [laughter] they spent a lot more time talking benighted. [laughter]
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-- they spend a lot more time talking than i did. [laughter] i helped to launch the women's rights project. i had been on the council for seven years. there was not a single question, not a single question about my aclu affiliation. i think what it will take is great stakes on both sides of the aisle and this is not the fault of one party rather than the other. the over 30-votes for someone qualified in any case, it will take both sides of the aisle to
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come together and say it enough, this is not the way it should be. we should be approving judges. a person who is devoted to the thatwhoto do the hard work is involved. that is what should count. there was a great man who said the true symbol of the united states is not the bald eagle. it is the pendulum. so i hope the pendulum will swing back to the way it was in 1993 and 1994. >> in one hopeful sign, dick durbin, the senator from illinois, the no. 2 person in the senate, the majority leader said he thought lindsay gramm had it right, which is that there should be some difference
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to the president. your hope may have some traction. the last question comes from alumni in the audience. although i reserve the right to ask a follow-up question. [laughter] what qualities should pay law school -- would call it should the law school be focusing on for the next generation -- what qualities should a law school be focusing on for the next generation of lawyers. >> law is supposed to be learned profession. if you are a member of a learned profession, you are not satisfied with merely turning
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over a block. -- turning over a buck. you know you have something special. you owe it to your community to help make things better for others. i think the lawyer who commits himself to public service can make a living that is necessary and also to remember the people who desperately need representation and will not have a unless you care -- will not have it unless you care. i will do my job and collect my fees and am not interested in the rest of the world. i did not consider that person a true professional. >> we will do our best. [laughter] i cannot thank you enough. this has been delightful and a treat for everyone here.
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let's all thank you for your time. [applause] >> former virginia governor, team kaine, and former senator george allen faced each other thursday night in one of four scheduled senate debates. the cook political report rates this race "tossup." >> i ask you pointedly.
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do you share that vision of america? what specifically would you do to deal with that 47%? >> as i stated in the beginning, david, the best social program of all is a job. how do you provide more job opportunities for people? >> do you think that half the country sees themselves as victims -- >> i look very positive lay at the people -- >> do you disagree with governor romney on this point? >> i have my own point of view. i believe that the people of america still believe in the american dream. and our responsibility as leaders and public servants is to make sure that this is a country that has an equal opportunity to compete and succeed and pursue their dreams. the way i look at it and i will expand on it later in our debate, but the point is that, as you look at the records, who has created more opportunities? i mentioned welfare reform. those are folks who were down
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and out and temporarily needed help. and we want to help people who are able minded and able-bodied and even folks who are disabled who want to work. that is one of the great attributes and characteristics of all americans. they don't look at themselves as victims. they want a government that reflects their values and gives them the opportunity to reach their aspirations and be their role model. >> ok, take a moment. >> i don't think that the question over whether you agree with mitt romney is hard. it is straight forward give those were divisive comments. >> this debate is courtesy of wrctv. watch the entire debate monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. next, pollster peter hart conducts a focus group with virginia voters who are undecided or who could change
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their minds before the november presidential election. this was conducted on behalf of the annenberg public policy center and is a little over two hours. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> welcome, welcome. any seat. they're all equally great. and the only thing is, please put your name tags directly towards me. so i can read them easily. richard, towards me. that's great. thank you. move up here. that's great.
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can you turn your nameplate towards me. and it is raj, right? >> yes. >> pamela, you go by pamela? >> yes. >> great. mary. and karlena? >> yes. >> ann. charles. >> i prefer charlie. >> ok, charlie. christina. good. a.j. and sue an -- susan and david. welcome, welcome, welcome. thank you all very much for being here. this is a focus group. and i'm delighted to have all of you here. what we are going to do is talk about the 2012 election. this is being done for the annenberg center for public policy at the university of pennsylvania. my name is peter hart and i have been doing these sessions for the university of pennsylvania and center for public policy for about 12 years now. they are only meant to be a discussion. it's meant to take a look at
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the election. we have had several of these already. we had one in milwaukee a couple -- a month ago. we have had them in ohio. we have had them all across the nation. and i figured as we are getting close to the end, christina, what would be a better place than virginia. can you think of a better place? i can't think of a better place, either. so that's the purpose and that's what it is. we'll just start talking and go through things. let me just say there aren't any right answers or wrong answers and we are not here to persuade everybody that your point of view is the right one and they are wrong. let me go around the table, start with ben, we'll finish with raj. give me your name, tell me what you do for work, if you are married, if you have kids, and i guess the other thing i would like to know is who you are voting for president and how committed are you. so if you are totally undecided, say i'm totally undecided at this stage.
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if you are indeed committed to somebody, let me know. so i want to know i'm voting for someone and you are either open or you can be leaning or you can be pretty committed to somebody. we are going to start with ben, welcome. >> ben macgyver, geologist. i just graduated from virginia tech. not married. i don't have any kids. right now i'm leaning towards mitt romney. >> ok. good. great. >> i'm pamela, i am a director of communication force a company called human circuit and what we do is we integrate, which is another word for implement and install, vital media products, a.v., teleconferencing, studio equipment, etc. i am divorced, single mother, two boys, just graduated college, and i am totally undecided. >> ok. great.
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just for the future, we won't name our companies because i don't want somebody to say, oh, i had a terrible experience. undoubtedly. only good experiences. >> i'm rich engel, work for an i.t. company. i have four kids i'm married. and as of right now i am


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