Fashion, Fashion Is Fun, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

Notorious R.B.G. Loves Being Called Notorious R.B.G.

Katie Couric of Yahoo! News sat down to conduct an extended interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to discuss issues ranging from Hobby Lobby to the controversial “R” word. Most importantly, Couric confronts Justice Ginsburg about her internet fame and hip-hop moniker, and we learn that she knows all about it.

Obviously Justice Ginsburg is up on her internet presence. Above the Law learned firsthand that she takes the time to recognize her fans when Justice Ginsburg took the time to personally respond to Staci’s wedding invitation. But hearing an 81-year-old woman talking about how much she adores being called “Notorious” is face-meltingly cute.

There are some other gems from the full interview too….

A Fistful of Jabots

First, I’m announcing that ATL will treasure always a t-shirt with Justice Ginsburg as The Man With No Name wearing a jabot over a serape. Adapt this.

Second, Justice Ginsburg doesn’t have a trademark jabot, she has a metric s**t ton of jabots. She took Katie on a tour of her closet and showed off jabots she’s collected from around the world. She even offered a protip to viewers — she wears one specific jabot when she’s about to throw down a dissent:

And she dons another particularly fierce jabot when she’s poised to announce an opinion for the Court:

So it you’re ever inside the Supreme Court on opinion day, you can impress your friends by predicting what’s about to happen based on Justice Ginsburg’s appearance. Everyone will look at you like a junior Lyle Denniston.

One Of Her Proudest Accomplishments Took Place Off The Bench

In a touching discussion, Justice Ginsburg showed off a framed display of the title page of the Lilly Ledbetter Act and a picture of President Obama signing it into law. Notorious, appropriately, notes that her dissent called out Congress by telling them that the ball was in their court to fix the majority’s ruling in Lilly Ledbetter’s case. Coupled with her take on how Roe v. Wade was a poorly constructed opinion, Justice Ginsburg reveals a side of the Supreme Court that people often forget — these are nine people who would really rather the other branches do their jobs right in the first place.

Hobby Lobby and Shelby County Suck

There was some substantive talk too. Mustering all the tact in the observable universe, Justice Ginsburg avoids calling out her colleagues as mouth-breathing neanderthals and points Katie to the language of her dissents while expressing confidence that her opinions will one day reflect the law of the land.


Nope. But you knew that was coming. Justice Stevens held on until he was 90 and Justice Ginsburg describes him as a role model in this regard. She’s in good health and good spirits and while she recognizes that she’s at an age where she must take it year by year, she sees no reason that she can’t keep doing the job for a long time to come. Couric doesn’t press her on the realpolitik of the decision, but in the past Justice Ginsburg has blown off retirement calls by expressing her confidence that Democrats will keep winning in 2016.

Raw Flows, and That’s How Dissents Goes

But the greatest thing to come out of this interview was the revelation that Justice Ginsburg loves the Notorious R.B.G. title. Directly giving props to the author — who makes an appearance in the interview — Justice Ginsburg admits that she and her family love the name and the Tumblr that birthed it. And she knows her history too. At one point Couric claimed the nickname came out of the recent Hobby Lobby decision and Justice Ginsburg was almost snippy in correcting her. Sure, the Justice admits that she needed the help of her law clerks to understand the full weight of the reference, but we’ll give her a break because she was a little busy in the 90s.

The whole Justice Ginsburg interview is fascinating. I’d love to embed it here, but Yahoo! disabled embeds. Hey, they aren’t a third-tier internet company for nothing!

Exclusive: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Hobby Lobby Dissent [Yahoo! News]
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Knows We Call Her ‘Notorious RBG’ and Loves It [Jezebel]

Earlier: What Happens When You Invite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Your Wedding?

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