The Ginsburg Tapes

By The Ginsburg Tapes

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With Lauren Moxley

Episode Date
Near Beer and the Middle Tier
When did the Supreme Court finally raise the bar for sex equality under the Constitution?  In a case about beer. In Oklahoma, women could buy 3.2% alcohol beer at 18, but men had to wait until they turned 21.  Two fraternity brothers at Oklahoma State University teamed up with a co-owner of a local convenience...
Jun 03, 2019
A Ginsburg Tapes Mashup
This short episode describes the motivation for the Ginsburg Tapes podcast, and mashes up key moments from Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s oral arguments in the Supreme Court in the 1970s. Questions for Lauren? Shoot her an email at, or find her on Twitter and Instagram @ginsburgtapes.
May 01, 2019
Not a Pedestal, But a Cage
After Stephen Wiesenfeld’s wife Paula died giving birth to their son, he was denied benefits available to sole surviving mothers with modest incomes. Had Stephen and Paula’s places been reversed, Paula would have received those benefits. Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented Stephen in challenging the social security law. She used the case to show how a...
Apr 01, 2019
Make Us Serve
Edwards v. Healy involved a challenge to a Louisiana law that excused women from the duty to serve on juries. In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s third oral argument before the Supreme Court, she tried to get the Court to overturn a ruling of just 13 years earlier upholding a volunteers-only jury scheme for women–which the Court...
Mar 01, 2019
Pregnancy Discrimination Cases of the 1970s
At the same time that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was arguing the sex equality cases that we’re focusing on in this podcast, the Supreme Court also heard a number of pregnancy discrimination cases.  In each case, the Burger Court struggled to see how pregnancy discrimination is a function of sex.  In their minds, pregnancy is different. ...
Feb 14, 2019
The Blind, the Lame, and the Widows
Ruth Bader Ginsburg only lost one case as an oral advocate in the Supreme Court: Kahn v. Shevin. The case involved a challenge to a Florida law according a special tax exemption to female widows, but not male widowers. Every widow got the tax exemption, regardless of her income–even the wealthy widowed woman of Palm...
Feb 01, 2019
Feet Off Our Necks
Ruth Bader Ginsburg made her debut as an oral advocate in the Supreme Court in Frontiero v. Richardson. The case involved a challenge to a law that treated men and women serving in the military differently. Specifically, Air Force Lieutenant Sharron Frontiero was denied dependent’s benefits for her husband, a navy veteran who had gone...
Jan 01, 2019
Pulling for RBG, the Toughest and Most Resilient in the Game
I landed from my flight home for the holidays yesterday to a slew of texts and news alerts about Ginsburg’s surgery.  For a split second, my stomach wrenched–but was relieved to read news reports indicate that short of complications in recovery, prospects look good for a full recovery for Ginsburg.  She hopes to be back on...
Dec 22, 2018
Behind the Scenes: Sundays with Schlafly
I spent part of this rainy Sunday watching a debate over the Equal Rights Amendment from 1976.  The debate was between Betty Friedan, author of the Feminine Mystique and the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative antifeminist activist and organizer of the “STOP ERA” campaign. We’ll be diving deep into...
Dec 17, 2018
Behind the Scenes: Pauli Murray
This holiday season, the Ginsburg Tapes gives thanks to the life and work of Pauli Murray, who would have been 108 on in November. In 1971, RBG listed Murray as an author on her foundational amicus brief in Reed v. Reed to honor her trailblazing work for women’s rights under law. As Kathryn Schulz eloquently...
Dec 12, 2018