Justice Ginsburg: Marriage Equality Attests to ‘Genius’ of U.S. Constitution

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discussed marriage equality and the 'genius' of the Constitution during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

BY Daniel Reynolds

September 07 2013 12:01 PM ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that same-sex marriage reflects the “genius” of the U.S. Constitution, in remarks made to an audience Friday.

The 80-year-old justice, who became the first member of the Supreme Court to officiate a same-sex wedding last month, said that equality is a central tenet of the supreme law of the United States, which should accommodate growing public acceptance of the rights of minority groups, the Associated Press reports.

"So, I see the genius of our Constitution, and of our society, is how much more embracive we have become than we were at the beginning," Ginsburg told the crowd at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Ginsburg was the second woman named to the Supreme Court after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired in 2006. As the head of the court’s liberal faction, Ginsburg has increasingly become a voice of dissent, with opinions that differ sharply from conservative colleagues, including Antonin Scalia. However, she says these differences do not affect the work environment.

"One of the hallmarks of the court is collegiality," Ginsburg said. "You could not do the job that the Constitution gives to us if you didn't, to use one of Justice Scalia's favorite expressions, 'Get over it.'"

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