Barriers to Entry and Justice Ginsburg's Criminal Procedure Jurisprudence
The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scott Dodson, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2015
22 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2020
Date Written: October 1, 2014
This chapter in "The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" reconsiders Justice Ginsburg’s understated but important contributions to constitutional criminal procedure. She is best known for her leadership — as an advocate, scholar, judge, and justice — on gender equality. In criminal procedure cases, Ginsburg’s legacy appears less significant, but some common commitments to fairness emerge from her opinions. This essay suggests a connection between Ginsburg’s advance of “equal citizenship stature” and her efforts to remove systematic barriers to entry that preclude full participation in criminal adjudication. She has highlighted the due process obligations of prosecutors, demanded adequate representation of defendants, expanded the right to confront witnesses, and increased the jury’s role in sentencing determinations. As with her approach to remedying unfairness in discrimination cases, Ginsburg has insisted that the government has an affirmative obligation to provide equal access and fair process.
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