(This op-ed was first published in The Washington Post on September 22, 2020.)
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left the two of us bereft of a mentor and exemplar of how to live a meaningful life in the law. But the loss to the court and the country is greater. It goes beyond her penetrating commitment to women’s rights. For the court is the sum of its members’ legal experience, and following Ginsburg’s death, there will be no justice who has experience representing people whom the law has excluded from full membership in American society. There will, in contrast, be eight justices who have worked for the executive branch or as a prosecutor. So lopsided a bench cannot fairly account for the rich range of human interests the court must consider.
(Continue reading the op-ed on The Washington Post’s page here.)
Pam Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School, and co-directs Stanford’s Supreme Court litigation clinic. Aziz Huq teaches law at the University of Chicago, and is co-author of “How to Save a Constitutional Democracy.” He clerked for Justice Ginsburg.