Ginsburg: 'Notorious RBG' Is Just 'Wonderful'

Supreme Court justice knows about that meme, thank you very much
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2014 2:47 PM CDT
Ginsburg: 'Notorious RBG' Is Just 'Wonderful'
Shana Knizhnik displays a T-shirt supporting Ruth Bader Ginsburg at an event with the justice, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg emerged as something of a folk hero in some camps with her furious dissent in the Hobby Lobby ruling on birth control. Actually, more of a rap hero, given the renewed attention to that whole "Notorious RBG" Tumblr. Now, Katie Couric sits down with the 81-year-old justice in an interview for Yahoo, and asks whether she's aware of the meme. Not only is she aware of it, she thinks the site's creator "has created a wonderful thing with Notorious RBG," though she cops to having "to be told by my law clerks, what's this Notorious. And they—they explained that to me." But once she poked around a bit, she says she hasn't "seen anything that isn't either pleasing or funny on that website." Some more serious highlights from the interview:

  • On whether the male justices "truly understood the ramifications" of Hobby Lobby: "I would have to say no." Asked whether this showed a "blind spot" when it comes to women, she answered in the affirmative, adding, "But justices continue to think and can change. They have wives. They have daughters. I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers. I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow."
  • On twitchy liberals urging her to retire: "I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam. When I feel myself slipping, when I can no longer think as sharply, or write as quickly, that will be the time to leave the court."
  • On her late husband: "I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his. And I think that made all the difference for me, and Marty was an unusual man. In fact, he was the first boy I knew who cared that I had a brain."
  • On having it all: "You can't have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan, I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough."
Over at Gawker, Michelle Dean writes, "Law clerks: what you need to do now is get her in one of those Notorious RBG t-shirts and put it up on Instagram. The Internet will lose its mind, mark my words." Click over to the full interview; Ginsburg has lots more to say. (More Ruth Bader Ginsburg stories.)

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