When you get to be a certain age, you let go of your inhibitions (trust me on this) and say what’s on your mind. When you are a Supreme Court Justice with lifetime tenure and you are within a few years of retiring, you can let your inner racist-eugenicist out.
Jonah Goldberg is polite when he questions what Ginsburg meant in her interview with the NY Times.
Here's what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in Sunday's New York Times Magazine: "Frankly I had thought that at the time (Roe v. Wade) was decided," Ginsburg told her interviewer, Emily Bazelon, "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." ...
Ginsburg's certainly right that abortion has deep roots in the historic effort to "weed out" undesired groups. For instance, Margaret Sanger, the revered feminist and founder of Planned Parenthood, was a racist eugenicist of the first order. Even more perplexing: She's become a champion of "reproductive freedom" even though she proposed a "Code to Stop Overproduction of Children," under which "no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit." (Poor blacks would have had a particularly hard time getting such licenses from Sanger.)
If Ginsburg does see eugenic culling as a compelling state interest, she'd be in fine company on the court. Oliver Wendell Holmes was a passionate believer in such things. In 1915, Holmes wrote in the Illinois Law Review that the "starting point for an ideal for the law" should be the "coordinated human effort ... to build a race."
The assumption is made by Goldberg and others that these advocates of government control - or “encouragement” - of “family planning” were race based. But this is an assumption that may have penumbras and emanations (to quote one famous Supreme Court decision). Can’t we assume also that the eugenics movement may also have as an objective the selective breeding of people who no longer believe in God? The people who were in the forefront of the that movement also believed that religious belief was irrational and even dangerous to the kind of rational, ordered society they envisioned.
I can well see Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a leading light of the ACLU – deciding that too many fundamentalist Christians were breeding. Not good for a “enlightened secular” society, eh Ruth?
Of course, John Holdren, Obama's science czar shares Ginsburg's views on culling the human race, so why should we be shocked? Their views are become mainstream Democrat beliefs - again.