Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed concern about rising anti-immigrant sentiment during remarks she gave in Hawaii this weekend.
The 83-year old justice, at ease with several leis around her neck, spoke to students from Mililani High School in Central Oahu. She was asked if immigrants have benefited the country, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.
“I think of the U.S. as a place that welcomes people from abroad who want to work and who are yearning to be free,” she said. “It’s disheartening to see that there are some people who don’t agree with that view who think our borders should be closed. But it’s not the first time in U.S. history that has happened.”
She added that she hopes the country will quickly restore its reputation “as a land of freedom and democracy that embraces people who come to us as strangers and then become part of us.”
Prior to arriving in Hawaii, where she is participating in the jurist-in-residence program at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, Ginsburg gave the Rathbun Lecture on a Meaningful Life at Stanford University where she called for the abolition of the electoral college. She echoed those comments during her remarks in Oahu over the weekend.
During her Stanford appearance, she was asked which constitutional provisions should “evolve with the society.”
“Well, some things I would like to change, one is the electoral college,” she said, to rapturous applause. “But that would require a constitutional amendment. Amending our Constitution is powerfully hard to do, as I know from the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment, which fell three state shy [of passage].”
Still physically active despite her advanced age, Ginsburg was scheduled to go horseback riding Saturday morning, but was precluded from doing so by rain.