ACLU Celebrates Ginsburg’s Legacy by Editing Out Her Actual Words as Offensive

The American Civil Liberties Union had a curious way of honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week by editing out her words — removing offensive references to “woman” and “she.”  I expect that Ginsburg herself would have had little patience with such woke revisionism.

The ACLU wanted to not just memorialize the one year anniversary of Ginsburg’s death but highlight the fight over abortions in states like Texas.  The quote, from Ginsburg is taken from her confirmation hearing in 1993:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

The ACLU however did not want to use the term “women” to refer to those who have abortions or the pronoun “she.” So that quote was reproduced in this form with “women” substituted with “person’s” and “she” substituted with “they”:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity… When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”

Many (including Ginsburg) could object to the use of the plural “they” for a reference to the singular “her” life as not just changing the words but the meaning.

The ACLU also cut “It is a decision she must make for herself.” That was arguably the crux of the quote but it was axed entirely.

The removal of “woman” is in response to objections that biological females who identify as male are “men” and therefore “men” can get pregnant and have abortions.The result is a rewriting of Ginsburg’s celebrated writings:

What is particularly curious is that the ACLU can still remove such references to “woman” or “she” in its own writings without editing historical quotations or writings. If one accepts this view that the reference to “woman” is offensive, you can still accept that historical documents should be read in their original form. You can then editorialize or contextualize with any objections or warnings.

For my part, I am a strong advocate for leaving historical documents unchanged and quoting them in their original forms. I also recently criticized the decision of the National Archives to add “trigger warnings” to historical documents as “bubbling wrapping history.” I believe that people can understand such documents in their historical text, even a quote that was first spoken as recently as 1993.

It is of course ironic that this iconic liberal jurist is now the subject of corrective editing. The ACLU might be wise to consider this other Ginsburg quote:

“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

41 thoughts on “ACLU Celebrates Ginsburg’s Legacy by Editing Out Her Actual Words as Offensive”

  1. The height of woke ACLU hypocrisy as they quietly stab in the back the late RBG with their editing and modifying what and how she said what she said. Wow…total disrespect and all that goes with it. And yet these vacant toads wave their whatever flag and declare themselves morally superior in their perfect version of altered reality.
    Though I had little agreement on RBG and most of what she publicly lauded…… jeez louise even her own kind mock her with babel speak . Such simple corrupted minds of the woke left apparatchik class .

  2. I have a question.

    The most restrictions of abortion apply after viability. There comes a point when the government tells a woman, her baby is viable and deserves to live. She’s already undergone most of her pregnancy. An abortion at that point would require labor and delivery, albeit of a dismembered baby. Allowing abortion of a full term viable infant has very little support in America.

    When the government restricts a woman’s abortion of a viable fetus, is “she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.” Or is the viable fetus being treated like a human being deserving of life regardless of the choices of other people? Is killing an unborn child an act of responsibility, or self serving?

    I’ve said before that I don’t actually know what a perfect abortion law would be. I find abortion tragic and sad. There is something horrifying about the one person a baby is supposed to rely upon for love and protection, the mother, being the person who orders his death. It’s The Shining played out behind the walls of the womb. I don’t know at what point abortion should be legal or illegal. But I am very glad that there are people who speak for the voiceless unborn, to bring balance to this debate. The woman is not making a decision that affects her alone. Her choices affect her innocent unborn child, as well as the child’s father. There are always 3 people affected by a woman’s choice to have a child, or abort a child, even if the father is unaware.

    1. I wonder each day if the one being denied her future is the next Einstein, the first doctor who will quietly cure cancer behind Big Pharma’s back, the next multi-billionaire who actually helps an unknowable number of people shake-off the shackles of poverty, the next tax-paying, conservative-hating liberal, etc., if only she was given the chance (of course, little boys matter, too). The automatic death sentence for a human who’s never been accused, tried, or found guilty of any crime, in the name of ‘rights’, should be the absolute last resort in a civilized society and not the first ‘solution’ to the potential inconvenience of the already-born. I’m also genuinely bewildered by the supposed logic that says it’s wrong to let a baby perish 30 seconds after being born, but it’s ok if the same baby is 30 seconds away from taking her first breath. I DO AGREE that no one should be forced to carry to term, but I still believe we’ll all pay the price eventually, if no attempt to save the most innocent among us is considered ‘the best we can do’. We’ve lost sight how precious life is on the only planet we know that supports it.

  3. There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical…

    From the Twilight Fringe to the Outer Limits… normalize, tolerate, or reject?

    Perhaps hold a pride parade of lions, lionesses, and their [unPlanned] cubs playing in gay revelry.

    1. Amen… A-women? It’s all very politically congruent (“=”) and A-ok (no pun or diversity [dogma] intended).

  4. When a woman loves a woman… transgender spectrum social incongruity (!”=”).

    Liberalism is a philosophy of generational, tribal, sectarian, cultist, corporatist divergence. Ginsburg was a yester-year liberal of the abortive kind. Oh, the karmic irony.

    Can they [figuratively] abort her [baby], cannibalize her profitable parts, sequester her carbon pollutants, and have her, too?

    A progressive path and grade.

    1. The war on babies/fetuses (planned parenthood)… grannies (planned parent/hood)… women progresses.

      They’re playing with a double-edged scalpel of the feminist/masculinist progressive creation (PC) and the liberals of modern generation, and certain sects, tribes, and corporations ride the wall at best, or push at worst… had a great fall.

  5. Carl Sandburg wrote in “Incidentals” a more pure definition of how the Mission Statement of the ACLU should read: “I am an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on the way.”
    This ineffable WOKE drivel is now beyond extreme. The ACLU is now run by imbecilic attorneys. Have we digressed so far it requires knowing a singular pronoun that is not supposedly offensive to someone? Have we thrown sanity out the window?
    They, not singularly are arrogant fools removing biologic terms of identify to please someone’s fragile feelings of despair.

    1. I am an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on the way.

      That’s a good one. It reminds me of a quote (don’t know the source) we (US Navy) would use when facilitating strategic planning sessions: If you don’t know to what port you sail, any course will do.

    2. The system is operating within liberal (i.e. divergent) parameters. Progress is a state and process of unqualified monotonic change.

  6. “ACLU Celebrates Ginsburg’s Legacy by Editing Out Her Actual Words as Offensive”

    – Professor Turley

    This is the problem entirely.

    People. personalities, imaginations and fantasies take precedence over the simple, literal “manifest tenor” of the Constitution.

    It matters not what the ACLU, Ginsburg, candidates, high officials, so-called experts and “oracles” say, it matters only what the Constitution says.

    And since 1860, the Constitution has been increasingly nullified and ignored.

    Proceeding by the “manifest tenor,” America cannot go wrong.

    That is not what has happened.

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  7. To quote someone by changing their words is to misquote them. Period. It is changing truth to lie and defending an indefensible stance from a moral highground claimed via the intellectual Trojan horse of wokeism.

    1. Deborah-“To quote someone by changing their words is to misquote them”. Eleven words that state perfectly how foolish the ACLU is. It is simple, it is perfect and it is damning. The ACLU used to be for free speech, those days are gone. The ACLU used to protect the rights of people with views that were unpopular, those days are gone.

      What I would love to know is how the “woke” ACLU is doing with funding. Are their donors drying up or are they getting the big bucks from the Twitter guy, the Google team and the Soros wing of the Democrats?

  8. “Real” men cannot get pregnant. As to women in a state of make-believe and pretending to be men (grooming, dress, etc.) they are and will always remain … women.

  9. I am a strong advocate for leaving historical documents unchanged and quoting them in their original forms.

    They remain in their original form. Misquoting and/or quoting out-of-context will always happen. Fortunately we have the internet to fact check them. The ACLU should have known this would be widely condemned.

    1. Olly, I agree with your sentiment but this is not “misquoting” someone, this is some moron thinking he knows better than RBG about how to make a statement.

  10. So if a woman says she is a man and the Roe decision says that a woman has the right to an abortion would it not follow that the ‘man’ does not have the right to an abortion? In the decision who defines “excessive interference”, wouldn’t that be interpretive? Just askin’.

  11. Great way to mess up a rather interesting language. To add to that, they then use quotation marks when they are inappropriate because she never would have used the words they have chosen. If this continues on, anything worth studying including Law will turn out to be an actual waste of time. Word Salad Extraordinaire.

  12. If one accepts this view that the reference to “woman” is offensive,

    Again, no one is offended. redefining words is leftist attempts at power flexing. 1984 is the lefts ‘How to Manual’, ‘Through the Looking Glass’, is fantasy, exposing the lunacy of word play.

    This whole notion of altering my speech so as not to offend…is offensive. Look at a horse and demand it be called a unicorn if you desire. I will not participate in your delusion. There are men, and women. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I can’t think of anything so egregious as highly educated and credentialed people intentional misquoting historical facts. People should be fired and barred from any position of respect.

    Bowing even a twitch to this madness is giving into to liars

  13. Does the ACLU’s editorial change now imply the inclusion of masculine, XY chromosomed MEN possessing rights in the decision making process of an abortion and insulate sperm producing hetero normative “outies” with wedding tackle from government interference?

    “When the government controls that decision for [people]” to which, so far, sperm producers still fall under THAT designation, they should be considered and represented equally in the calculations of an abortion…

    1. How sad that the ACLU fallen this far. Not the group I once followed.
      The ACLU used to attempt to talk a good game about champion “civil rights” But they have been since the 70’s anyway, hired guns for the abortion industry. They would pretend sometimes and defend the NAZI’s right to right to march in Skogie. But no more. Free speech is now situational, not absolute. It depends on who is “offended” (I’m currently studying the constitutional parameters of “offense”), the ACLU was never able to find the right to keep and bear arms in their copy of the Constitution.

      1. Jew privilege… White privilege… Male privilege… Oh, wait, female privilege! A progressive path and grade.

        Wicked. Throw another baby on the barbie, it’s over.

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