Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at Georgetown University on Thursday, and some of the things she revealed may surprise her liberal fans.
Ginsburg was ostensibly there to discuss her new book, “In Her Own Words,” but the conversation quickly turned to politics and the recent addition of a new Justice to the Court.
Ginsburg spoke bitterly about Justice Neil Gorsuch’s rancorous confirmation hearings, castigating Democrats indirectly by wishing that we could go back to happier times when the two parties did a better job of acting in a professional manner.
She reminisced about her own confirmation hearings, and those of the Justice who came immediately after her, Stephen Breyer, and remarked at how different those confirmation hearings had been. Ginsburg remembered that even for her, a very liberal judge, the atmosphere in her hearing was collegial and friendly.
Reflecting on her own nomination and confirmation experience, Ginsburg expressed a longing for things to return to the way they once were. Ginsburg noted that Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was a supporter of hers during her confirmation effort and noted that no questions were asked of her relationship with the American Civil Liberties Union during hearings on her nomination.
“What I remember was the collegiality, the civility of those hearings, that entire process,” Ginsburg said of her confirmation proceedings. “For Justice Breyer who came one year after, it was pretty much the same — a collegial atmosphere. Watching the most recent confirmations, I wish there was a way that we could wave a magic wand and get back to the way it was and the way it should be.”
Ginsburg also told students that having radically different political and legal opinions shouldn’t preclude two people from being friends, and she pointed to her close friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia as proof.
Cross-posted at Constitution.com