Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Technology

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Clinton 1993)


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On intellectual property & distribution of freelance material: As a district court judge in 1997, Sotomayor heard a case brought by a group of freelance journalists who asserted that various news organizations, including the New York Times, violated copyright laws by reproducing the freelancers' work on electronic databases and archives such as "Lexis/Nexis" without first obtaining their permission. Sotomayor ruled against the freelancers and said that publishers were within their rights as outlined by the 1976 Copyright Act. The appellate court reversed Sotomayor's decision, siding with the freelancers, and the Supreme Court upheld the appellate decision (therefore rejecting Sotomayor's original ruling). Justices Stevens and Breyer dissented, taking Sotomayor's position. (Tasini vs. New York Times, 1997)
Source: CNN coverage of upcoming Sotomayor hearings , Aug 1, 2009

Free speech protects Playboy Channel from "signal bleed" law

[The Supreme Court] struck down a law aimed at preventing sexually explicit channels, like the Playboy Channel, having their visual or audio signal intruding ("bleeding") into homes of viewers who had not subscribed to such salacious stuff. Signal bleed, as it is called, was obviously a serious problem for parents concerned about their children. Drawing from First Amendment precedents, Justice Kennedy--the ardent First Amendment defender--combined with Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens, and Thomas to invalidate the law on First Amendment grounds. The reason was not love of Playboy Channel material. Rather, the same result (protecting homes against unwanted signals) could have been achieved through less intrusive methods.

Justice Breyer challenged Justice Kennedy's analysis: "I could not disagree more when the majority implies that such protection--preventing, say, an 8-year-old from watching virulent pornography without parental consent--might not be 'compelling.'"

Source: First Among Equals, by Kenneth Starr, p. 38-39 , Oct 10, 2002

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Other Justices on Technology: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Amy Coney Barrett(since 2020)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Neil Gorsuch(since 2017)
Ketanji Brown Jackson(nominated 2022)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Brett Kavanaugh(since 2018)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(1993-2020)
Anthony Kennedy(1988-2018)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2022