An interesting news piece on Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer’s ascension to the highest court in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court. You can read her CV in English here.
She holds Canada up as an example:
Comparing the extent to which other western nations obey their respective constitutions, Baer sees Canada as a good example of how basic law can be reflected in practice.
“In Canada, sexual orientation isn’t written into the constitution, but the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and heterosexuals are very well established,” Baer said. “In many parts of the corporate world, the point has been reached where sexual orientation doesn’t play a role at all. What really matters is what you’re like as a person.”
[A] Manhattan lawyer recently asked New York federal judge Kimba Wood to grant him a day’s reprieve in a criminal trial to attend the bris of his grandson. ….
Should the child be a girl, [he wrote] not much will happen in the way of public celebration. Some may even be disappointed, but will do their best to conceal this by saying, “as long as it’s a healthy baby.” . . . However, should the baby be a boy, then hoo hah! Hordes of friends and family will arrive . . . for the joyous celebration . . . known as the bris. . . . My presence at the bris is not strictly commanded, although my absence will never be forgotten by those that matter.
Judge Wood, in a note written at the bottom of the letter, granted the request. But she did Epstein one better. Wrote Wood:
Mr. Epstein will be permitted to attend the bris, in the joyous event that a son is born. But the Court would like to balance the scales. If a daughter is born, there will be a public celebration in Court, with readings from poetry celebrating girls and women.
And on the topic of having to ask a noted female judge for time off to celebrate the birth of a boy, but not a girl, Epstein minced no words:
Patricia J. Williams uses Elena Kagan’s confirmation as the context for a discussion of the ways that cognition, language and culture are barriers to equality. Worth reading, for the analysis and for Williams’ always deft touch with language. Why does Kagan seem to be having an easier time than Sotomayor? Is it just the absence of a smoking “Wise Latina”? Or is it the way that Kagan is being treated not as a successful woman, but a successful “man”?