Following Confirmation in 1993, Biden Said Ginsburg Was ‘Not Ideological’

A recently uncovered article in the Chicago Tribune from 1993 included a quote from Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, who at the time was the Senate Judiciary Chairman.

The article was about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how she was confirmed in the Senate 96-3. Biden described the soon to be Justice, saying “Her style is cautious and restrained, not ideological and not result-oriented.”

Ginsburg, they say, told the committee during the confirmation hearings that she considers the right to choose abortion essential to women’s equality and she also condemned discrimination against homosexuals but did not say whether she considers it illegal.

In 2013, she became the first Supreme Court Justice to preside over a same-sex marriage. It came two months after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to expand federal recognition of same-sex marriages, striking down part of an anti-gay marriage law.

In the 1993 article, Ginsburg visited the court to plan her swearing-in and appeared at the White House with then-President Bill Clinton after the nomination.

Clinton praised her as a justice and claimed at the time that she would “move the court not left or right but forward” and she promised to “do the very best I can in this job.”

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who was the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee at the time, said disagrees with some of Ginsburg’s positions, particularly on abortion, but said he felt sure that she is “unlikely to be a liberal judicial activist.”

In another 2013 interview, Ginsburg had vowed to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Ginsburg gave several interviews that summer, perhaps in reaction to calls from some liberals that she step down in time for President Obama to name her successor.

She had said repeatedly that the identity of the president who would appoint her replacement did not figure in her retirement planning and that “There will be a president after this one, and I’m hopeful that that president will be a fine president.”

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