Gay Marriage

Justice Ginsburg Defends Incremental Approach to Gay Marriage

She's uncomfortable with reaching farther


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's incremental approach on gay marriage, blamed her colleagues for inviting a deluge of political spending—and suggested she's ready to spar over those issues for years to come.

In a rare interview in her chambers, the 80-year-old justice reflected on a term in which she helped shape narrow victories for gay marriage while underscoring her status as the leader of the court's liberal wing and its foremost champion of legal protections for women and racial minorities.

Ginsburg, who has said the court was too bold in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights ruling, said the justices wisely took a more limited approach in the two gay marriage decisions. Supporters had urged the court to declare a constitutional right for same-sex marriage nationwide.