It’s horrible when your heart is somewhere your body is not.
One possibility is that Breyer’s tendency to side with the court’s women means that gender doesn’t matter there at all. The other possibility is that it matters a good deal, and you needn’t be a female to understand that. The fact that Breyer doesn’t have that ‘blind spot’—that he can comprehend the interests of the women in both Hobby Lobby and Harris—is proof that the system works in ways that are not confined to gender, and that we can all transcend personal experience to imagine someone else’s life. In fact, it seems to me that the best possible takeaway from this past term is not that the court’s three women spent June tearing their hair out over those two cases, but that the bald white guy quietly joined them. Nobody doubts that these opinions and dissents lift off because they are written by Ginsburg. But nobody should forget that they matter because they are joined by Breyer.