Ginsburg's views had a big influence on her colleagues, who ended up siding with Redding by a vote of 8 to 1. In his majority opinion, Justice David Souter called strip-searching a middle-school girl to look for ibuprofen "embarrassing, frightening, and humiliating." Having one woman on the court asking questions made a difference; imagine what effect three women will have.
We can argue over Kagan's politics, but there's no doubt her presence will begin to subtly shift the court. Having a critical mass of women quizzing defense lawyers differently from their brethren will bring new perspectives to the justices' decision-making. These sorts of changes have already been felt in workplaces as diverse as newsrooms and boardrooms—and now they will occur within the marble chambers of the Supreme Court.
- Check out our editorial cartoons on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination.
- Follow the money in Congress.
- See a slide show of 5 reasons progressives should support Kagan's nomination.