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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told an audience Wednesday that she doesn’t like the idea of being the only woman the high court. But in choosing to fill one of the two open positions on the Court, “any woman will not do,” she said. There are “some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women’s rights,” Ginsburg told an audience at the New York City Bar Association. The retirement of Ginsburg’s colleague Sandra Day O’Connor has fueled speculation about whether President George W. Bush will nominate a woman to her position. Federal Judge John G. Roberts originally was Bush’s nominee for O’Connor’s seat but now is facing a Senate vote on the position of chief justice, a role empty after the death of William H. Rehnquist. Ginsburg stressed that the president should appoint a “fine jurist,” adding that there are many women who fit that mold. “I have a list of highly qualified women, but the president has not consulted me,” Ginsburg said during a brief interview Wednesday night. Ginsburg arrived in New York to attend an annual lecture named in her honor. The lecture’s focus is on women and the law. This year, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, delivered it, while Ginsburg participated in a question-and-answer session afterward. During the session, Ginsburg defended some of the justices’ references to laws in other countries when making decisions, a practice strongly opposed by conservative U.S. legislators. The justice said using foreign sources does not mean giving them superior status in deciding cases. “I will take enlightenment wherever I can get it,” she said. “I don’t want to stop at a national boundary.” When reminded that Roberts has indicated he disagrees with the practice of referring to foreign laws, Ginsburg said it appeared he “is a man who does listen and is willing to learn.” Ginsburg, an associate justice since 1993, is the second woman named to the high court; the first was O’Connor. Ginsburg was a noted advocate of women’s rights during her work as an attorney and is considered one of the more liberal Supreme Court justices. Robinson, who also previously served as the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, now heads the group Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative. She emphasized the importance of different groups’ work in promoting human rights and said the United States has lost credibility on the subject, partly because of its detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and its “ambiguity” on the use of torture. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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