Anyone who has paid attention would not be surprised when an activist judge disses the constitution but the fact that Ginsburg did it openly and in another country to boot seems like the epitome of chutzpah. Just after the Arab Spring when the Muslim Brotherhood took control of Egypt, Ginsburg spoke in a 2012 visit to Cairo University in Egypt. Although she had some praise for the US constitution, she told the Egyptians it would not be wise for them to copy it.
Ginsburg told the Egyptians:
“You should certainly be aided by all the constitution-writing that has gone on since the end of World War II. I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.
“I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary.”
“It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution — Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?”
Why do so many African nationals sneak into this country rather than into South Africa with its superior constitution? And in Canada, their constitution does not even include Freedom of Speech. You can go to prison if you refer to a transgender by a pronoun he/she/it doesn’t like. I can understand why a flaming liberal like Ginsburg would like that. They want the federal government to be able to determine what is appropriate speech.
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with a country looking elsewhere, the fact that Ginsburg specifically advised another country against looking at the United States Constitution in 2012 is a profoundly disconcerting thing, especially when she’s one of the nine people who safeguard it.
Then again, given the job she does of it, I suppose we shouldn’t be entirely surprised.