1. The Supreme Court has voted to overturn a key section of Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Voting Rights Act. That section involves a formula used to identify state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination. Those governments identified by the formula are required to submit prospective changes to voting law to a federal court or the Justice Department. Local governments can now make changes to their voting laws that need approval from higher ups. 
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent. Here’s our interview with legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about Ginsburg.
And an interview with biographer Robert Caro about LBJ.
Above, Martin Luther King’s invitation to LBJ’s signing of the Voting Rights Act, 1965 via Michael Beschloss View in High-Res

    The Supreme Court has voted to overturn a key section of Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Voting Rights Act. That section involves a formula used to identify state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination. Those governments identified by the formula are required to submit prospective changes to voting law to a federal court or the Justice Department. Local governments can now make changes to their voting laws that need approval from higher ups.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent. Here’s our interview with legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about Ginsburg.

    And an interview with biographer Robert Caro about LBJ.

    Above, Martin Luther King’s invitation to LBJ’s signing of the Voting Rights Act, 1965 via Michael Beschloss

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    Jeffrey Toobin

  1. To know Justice O’Connor as I am privileged to do is to know that the word ‘regret’ never passes her lips. She is a forward-looking person. She is a Westerner. She is someone who is always thinking about the future, and it’s one of the absolutely great things about her. Did she regret her vote in Bush v. Gore? Did she regret the Bush presidency? You bet she did, and you bet she does. The war in Iraq. The war on terror. John Ashcroft as attorney general. The Terri Schiavo case. All of these things filled Justice O’Connor with revulsion, and you can be sure that her vote in Bush v. Gore weighs on her mind. Now, regret it? Saying she regretted it? Did she regret it? You bet.

    — Jeffrey Toobin talks to Terry Gross about how retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s feels about her vote in Bush v. Gore

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  1. Jeffrey Toobin tells Terry Gross about the relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

    I think there are actually many more parallels between Ginsburg and O’Connor than there are differences, starting with their academic distinction and difficulties getting jobs. Also, I think the affection between them was so real. I remember interviewing Justice Ginsburg once during that period before Justice Sotomayor was appointed [and] when she was the only woman on the Court and she hated that. She really didn’t like being the only woman on the Court and she liked the fact — and O’Connor liked the fact — that they were different in many ways. You know, here you have O’Connor, this tall, outgoing, rangey westerner, and Ginsburg, this bookish Brooklynite, and they both like the idea that it showed that women aren’t just one way in the world, that women are complicated and different from one another, yet it’s important that women also be represented and both of them are fierce advocates for more women judges and more women in all positions of power.

    You can listen to yesterday’s interview with Justice O’Connor here. And trust us: we mean ‘Listen.’ The transcript does not do justice to the audio.

    Image of Ginsburg via the New York Historical Society

    Image of O’Connor by StealMySoul/Flickr

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  1. Last week, PBS premiered a documentary called Makers about the women’s movement in the United States. Above is a clip of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the documentary. She’s talking about how, for women of her generation, “the bench was not something to which women aspired unless you were a dreamer.” Journalist Jeffrey Toobin talks today on the show about Ginsburg. His profile of her appears in this week’s New Yorker.

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    Makers

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  1. [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg speaks warmly of [Sandra Day] O’Connor, who shared the same generational struggles. Indeed, Ginsburg sees the O’Connor departure (and the arrival of Alito) as the turning point for the modern Court. “The one big change in the time I’ve been here has been the loss of Justice O’Connor,” Ginsburg told me. “I think if you look at the term when she was not with us, every five-to-four decision when I was with the four, I would have been with the five if she had stayed.”

    — Jeffrey Toobin, in a profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — "Heavyweight" — for this week’s New Yorker (pay wall). Tomorrow on the show, Terry talks with Toobin about Ginsburg and the Court. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was on the show today.

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  1. 
"It used to be that what it meant to be a conservative on the Supreme Court was respect for precedent and slow-moving change. What’s so different about the Roberts’ Court is the way they are burning through many of the precedents they don’t like."

- Jeffrey Toobin on Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court View in High-Res

    "It used to be that what it meant to be a conservative on the Supreme Court was respect for precedent and slow-moving change. What’s so different about the Roberts’ Court is the way they are burning through many of the precedents they don’t like."

    - Jeffrey Toobin on Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court

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