The Notorious R.B.G.

In class this week we discussed Justice Scalia’s history and background on the Supreme Court, and we briefly mentioned the oldest member of the current Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We widely agreed that Scalia is quite the character on the Supreme Court, but I believe that conversation of the most interesting and dynamic justices is incomplete without discussion of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

We brought up the idea that she might think of retiring soon, since under the Obama presidency there is at least a chance that she would be replaced with a fellow liberal judge (a slim chance, seeing as the Senate is now under Republican control). She hears all of this talk (and actual public requests for her to step down), and scoffs at it.

The Unsinkable R.B.G.: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Has No Interest in Retiring

This op-ed discusses Ginsberg’s fierce commitment to her position, as well as her loyal — and surprising — young, feminist fan-base. There is a blog that traces all of her personal moves (including her infamous nap at this year’s State of the Union) and judicial decisions, titled Notorious R.B.G.

My favorite quote from the article was from MSNBC contributor, Irin Carmon, who says of Ginsberg:

The kind of raw excitement that surrounds her is palpable. There’s a counterintuitiveness. We have a particular vision of someone who’s a badass — a 350-pound rapper. And she’s this tiny Jewish grandmother. She doesn’t look like our vision of power, but she’s so formidable, so unapologetic, and a survivor in every sense of the word.

The blog often takes Beyonce lyrics, and inserts them onto images of R.B.G., including my personal favorite:

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2 Responses to The Notorious R.B.G.

  1. kiracanderson says:

    First of all, thank you for introducing us to the Notorious RBG blog! It’s pretty fantastic!

    I have always admired RBG. She is surprisingly modern in her interpretations and rulings. However, I am beginning to think that a sharp wit and catty attitude are prerequisites to becoming a Justice. Last year, I had the honor to attend the Arizona Women’s History Symposium. The keynote speaker was Sandra Day O’Connor. While I don’t hold the same views as Justice O’Connor, I was ready to be intimidated and in awe. While we were waiting for her to arrive, the police (actually, in retrospect, they were probably secret service) and their dogs investigate the area. Finally, she arrived. Tiny, fragile, elderly, she took a seat at the front of the room. She was introduced with praise, recounting her many achievements. She slowly made her way to the podium to great applause. And then she started speaking, and I could only think of one thing: Sandra Day O’Connor, first female justice on the Supreme Court, was a salty, feisty, hilarious lady. She made jokes and rolled her eyes. In that one speech, she went from this intimidating figure to a real human being.

    When I hear about RBG snarking at conservative opinion or Scalia’s scathing dissents, I remember Justice O’Connor. And I imagine that, between hearing cases and authoring opinions, the Justices sit around in their robes, cracking jokes, poking fun at each other, and being actual humans. Seeing Justice O’Connor had the effect of knocking the entire Supreme Court off their pedestal to me.

  2. gchanneyla says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and thanks for introducing us to the blog Notorious R.B.G. I think that people consistently underestimate Justice Ginsberg’s ability to keep up because of her age and as it was noted in the article you included she might have some years on her, but she continues to have a great deal of drive. I guess you could say I have become a fan of Ginsberg because she as most would say is simply inspirational.
    We did briefly discuss that many believe she should just step down and call it a day, but I say if she’s still doing her job and doing it well let the lady be. Politically it might seem strategic that she step down, but it is pretty clear that it would be difficult to replace her with Republicans running the Senate; so, to that I say long live R.B.G.

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