Additional Information on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

● The Documents That Ginsburg Has Cited As Being Superior to the U.S. Constitution:

* The South African constitution contains a clause protecting free expression. But unlike the right of free speech under the American First Amendment, the South African constitution says that the right of free expression does not include “propaganda for war” or “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” These vague exceptions go beyond the very limited “incitement of imminent violence” exception to the First Amendment that our courts have recognized. Instead, they intrude into the very areas of potentially controversial speech that the U.S. Constitution protects. On the other hand, the South African constitution enshrines such entitlements as “adequate housing,” “reproductive health care,” and education (including “adult basic education”) as constitutional rights, along with creating a constitutional right to a clean environment.

* Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms more closely resembles the U.S. Bill of Rights, with one notable exception. Under Section 33 (1), parliament or the legislature of a province may, through legislation, effectively override the various rights and freedoms enumerated in the document such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against self-incrimination and the like. In other words, the legislature is supreme.

* The European Convention on Human Rights, like the South African constitution, contains basic rights but with restrictions on the exercise of such rights even more far-reaching than South Africa’s restrictions. For example, Article 10 states that “[E]veryone has the right to freedom of expression,” but that right can be restricted for such reasons as “the protection of health or morals” and “the protection of the reputation or rights of others.”

 

 

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