Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday for appointing an entirely female staff.
Ginsburg made her comment during a discussion about gender equality at Georgetown University, CBS News reported.
“There is a very important first on the Supreme Court this term and it’s thanks to our new justice, Justice Kavanaugh, whose entire staff, they’re all women, all of his law clerks are women,” she said.
“And with his four women as law clerks, it’s the first time in the history of the United States that there have been more women clerking at the court than men.”
The news may come as a shock to some supporters of Ginsburg, a lifelong women’s rights activist, after Kavanaugh was embroiled in a scandal during his confirmation process that accused him of sexual assault.
Christine Blasey Ford, professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a high school party.
In April 2019, Elle reported that the hearings that followed the accusations caused “increased hostile sexism” in America.
During the hearings, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris said that Kavanaugh could not be trusted to equally apply the law.
The hearings failed to provide sufficient evidence that the sexual assault occurred, and the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2018.
At the Georgetown event, Ginsburg discussed her experience as the second woman ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court, and as a women’s rights activist in the 1970s.
“I should say what we were doing in the 70s — we were getting rid of all of the over-explicit gender-based classification,” she said.
“There was nothing subtle about it. It was women can’t do this, women can’t do that.”
She also talked about her “extraordinary” marriage to well-known lawyer Martin Ginsburg, who died in June 2010 at the age of 78.
Ginsburg also admitted that the “explicit barriers’ for women in the workforce are now mostly “gone,” though did say she believed some still have to contend with “unconscious bias.”
Ginsburg’s praise of Kavanaugh may not be universally popular among modern feminists and even her own staff.
Two of her former law clerks, Ruthanne Deutsch and Dori Bernstein, previously questioned Kavanaugh.
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