Ruth Bader Ginsburg has delivered two withering oral dissents in the past six weeks, a radical departure from her previous conciliatory role. Linda Greenhouse speculates in today's Times that the unprecedented behavior may signal a new outspokenness for the Supreme Court's only female justice. "After 15 years on the court, she's finally voicing some complaints," says a former Ginsburg clerk.
On the Rehnquist court, Ginsburg was seen as a peacemaker. Now, it seems, the more conservative course the court is taking has moved her to act. "She is seeing that basic issues she’s fought so hard for are in jeopardy," one longtime friend tells the Times, "and she is less bound by what have been the conventions of the court."