September 21, 2020

Ginsburg, Trends, Not Going Greek, 2020 Political Demographics…More

By Bellwether

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a remarkable career and life, here she is in her own words.

In our part of the world, seniority gave her the lead dissent in Espionza but she did not write on Janus or Zelman, the other really pivotal cases of the past 20 years. However, she was a key voice on issues involving gender discrimination, not only in the 1996 VMI case but other less high profile cases that came before the court during her time. She generally supported a stricter separation of church and state than many – for instance she dissented in Rosenberger v. Rector.

The vacancy she leaves does seem consequential for education, and of course more generally, given what it would mean for the composition of the court. Pre-2016 there was some talk of “revisiting Rodriguez” and trying again to establish a constitutional right to education via litigation. A long shot anyway (a 5-4 and more liberal court said no in 1973), a 6-3 conservative court with originalist inclinations would almost certainly slam the door on that idea.


College students seem unhappy with fall 2020. In my experience so far this semester teaching a 100 percent virtual class that is usually live: they appreciate effort and creativity and have thoughtful feedback, but it’s obvious this is suboptimal.

College students are also voluntarily ending Greek life affiliations. As opposed to Harvard’s heavy-handed approach on single gender clubs, which however well meaning backfired for women, the student-led nature here is worth watching.

Over the years around here we’ve talked about the unbundling of school. OutSchool is thriving during the pandemic signals one way that this experience, especially the longer it goes on in 2021, may change education appetites.

2020 political demographics.

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