Monday, August 10, 2009

On August 10

On this day in ...
1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) (see previous posts) took her seat as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (photo credit) She is (as of Saturday!) one of only two women on the United States’ highest court. Recently, at a symposium at Ohio State University, she discussed her opinion on foreign law and its potential influence on judicial decisions in the United States, asking,
“Why shouldn’t we look to the wisdom of a judge from abroad with at least as much ease as we would read a law review article written by a professor?”
She also linked the diminished influence of the U.S. Supreme Court to its failure to engage with foreign decisions.
1949 (60 years ago today), President Harry S. Truman (right) signed the National Security Act Amendment of 1949, which renamed the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense. (photo credit) Additionally, the amendment placed the secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force under the direction of the Secretary of Defense, giving that Secretary more power over the individual services and their secretaries. The 1949 amendment also created the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These changes further centralized the organization of policy among the three branches of the military begun when the act was first passed in 1947.
(Prior August 10 posts are here and here.)

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