Justice Ginsburg “Not 100 Percent Sober” During State Of The Union

Ginsburg Sleeping

During the State of the Union Address in January, cameras caught Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appearing to doze off about half way through the President’s speech. As it turns out, the Justices were apparently partying prior to the big event:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admits to sharing some wine with her colleagues and not being “100 percent sober” for President Obama’s State of the Union address in January.

During Obama’s speech, which lasted just under an hour, many viewers on social media pointed out that the 81-year-old liberal justice appeared to be snoozing.

“The audience for the most part is awake, because they’re bobbing up and down, and we sit there, stone-faced, sober judges. But we’re not, at least I wasn’t, 100 percent sober,” Ginsburg said during a talk at George Washington University on Thursday night, according to a report by The Blaze.

“Because before we went to the State of the Union, Justice Kennedy brought in … it was an Opus something or other, very fine California wine, and I vowed this year, just sparkling water, stay away from the wine, but in the end, the dinner was so delicious, it needed wine,” Ginsburg said

Ginsburg has also appeared to fall asleep during the president’s annual address to Congress in prior years.

In 2013, Ginsburg also cited a “very good California wine” courtesy of Kennedy for her dozing off during the address.

Nothing to be embarrassed about Justice Ginsburg, the only way those events are even half way watchable is if there’s plenty of alcohol involved.

Incidentally, the wine that Justice Ginsburg is talking about appears to be from the Opus One Winery in Napa. I’ve had it, and it’s very, very good.

Here’s video of the speech:

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    “Justice should be blind– and slightly loopy”

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Neither was I.

  3. JohnMcC says:

    I gave a big old horse laugh! What a rich big life she’s led and what a great character we’ve been lucky enough to share our time and space with.

  4. Moosebreath says:

    So she used it as a drinking game as well?

  5. CSK says:

    I admire her for being so forthright. And, in any case, she’s 81 and in frail health. She had a big delicious dinner and a few glasses of excellent wine. She nodded off.

    Mazel tov.

  6. CB says:

    If someone puts a bottle of Opus One in front of you, you drink until they say stop, whether you’re a Supreme Court justice or a wino under a bridge.

    This is great. I love seeing the genuinely human side of such mammoth public figures.

  7. Hans says:

    If a conservative justice like Scalia or Thomas admitted to being drunk at the State of the Union, it would be front page news for days, there would be claims that they were not fit to sit on the bench, and if Scalia did it, there would be claims that it reflected racist disrespect for Obama, America’s first black president.

    The way Ginsburg’s admission has been treated is a classic double standard.

    Having said that, I don’t blame Justice Ginsburg. I also would need to have a drink to stand sitting through a SOTU.

  8. CB says:

    @Hans:

    I think you’re missing the part where they were all involved. Which is awesome to imagine.

  9. Scott says:

    @Hans: I’m not sure I see the double standard. There is a lot of cluck-clucking out there on the web.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    @Hans: You’re the only one who’s said “drunk”. Old people can get a little sleepy after a rich meal and a glass of wine. Trust me, I know.

  11. rodney dill says:

    …and she woke up with Bill Cosby.

  12. rodney dill says:

    @gVOR08: Sometimes even without the meal and the wine.

  13. Pinky says:

    Any guesses on the median blood alcohol level in the House chamber that night?

  14. Franklin says:

    @rodney dill: Too soon?

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @rodney dill:
    I thought that was funny. But don’t tell it on Twitter.

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Hans:

    If a conservative justice like Scalia or Thomas admitted to being drunk at the State of the Union, it would be front page news for days, there would be claims that they were not fit to sit on the bench, and if Scalia did it, there would be claims that it reflected racist disrespect for Obama, America’s first black president.

    Actually, if I had to sit there and observe the scowling John Boehner and his Republican colleagues, I’d probably ask Rush for a few of his Oxycontin pills.

  17. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: @Franklin: I was pushing the envelope a bit. I’m not sure who should be offended by it more (or most), but I recognized its potential for offense, so I expected, and understand, both the likes and dislikes.

    I don’t twitter, but I suspect I’d be bitch slapped if I posted it there.

  18. Hal_10000 says:

    You know, I disagree with Ginsberg a lot, but every time I read about her, I like her more. Very smart woman and a role model.

    If a conservative justice like Scalia or Thomas admitted to being drunk at the State of the Union, it would be front page news for days, there would be claims that they were not fit to sit on the bench, and if Scalia did it, there would be claims that it reflected racist disrespect for Obama, America’s first black president.

    She wasn’t drunk. She had some wine. As noted above, anyone over 40 can get sleepy on a big meal and a glass of wine, especially when sitting through a speech.

  19. bandit says:

    Long time past when she should have been put out to pasture.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @bandit: Maybe. But the rules as they currently stand allow her to make that decision. Looks like she’s trying to hold on until we have Hillary and a Dem majority in the Senate. And I believe she’s motivated by genuine concern for the country. God bless her. I hope she makes it.

  21. Inside Voice says:

    @bandit:

    Long time past when she should have been put out to pasture.

    Funny… we were thinking that about you. Or just put you down with one shot, and save the pastureland.

    But we wouldn’t be a dic# and say that. F’in jerk.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bandit: You already have.

    @rodney dill: Heh. And yeah, a good meal can put me down with or without the wine.

  23. Gustopher says:

    Before every big moral decision, I ask myself “What would Ruth Bader Ginsberg do?”

    And now, I have a simple answer that works in every instance.

  24. MBunge says:

    @gVOR08: And I believe she’s motivated by genuine concern for the country.

    I’m sure she cares about the country but she’s sticking on the court out of ego. Not that I can blame someone for wanting to be a Justice as along as she thinks she’s capable. But let’s be clear, she’s literally gambling with the future of the country.

    Mike

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @bandit:

    Long time past when she should have been put out to pasture.

    Speaking of “out to pasture,” Justice Clarence Thomas should have been removed from the Supreme Court for purposely failing (for many years) to report his wife’s income and affiliation with the Heritage Foundation on the annually required federal disclosure conflict of interest forms.

  26. Tillman says:

    Hmm. Should add that to the bucket list. “Get blind drunk with a Supreme Court justice.”

  27. John425 says:

    See! Even liberals need a stiff drink to tolerate President Doofus’s blatherings.

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @John425:

    See! Even liberals need a stiff drink to tolerate President Doofus’s blatherings.

    Excuse me but Bush hasn’t been president since early 2009.

  29. John425 says:

    @al-Ameda: You may have made an irrelevant reply. You are confusing Bush’s drinking ( in his early years) with Obama’s cocaine usage and his dog-eating appetites. Given the state of America’s economy and it’s disastrous foreign policy, many are asking is Obama is still snorting. The White House chefs have denied preparing Terrier and Collie sandwiches, however.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge: No, she’s not gambling . Might have been good if she’d retired earlier in Obama’s term Now, if she retires, Obama faces a huge fight to get anyone through the Senate. If she make’s it to ’17, Hillary can appoint a good candidate who will be confirmed by a Dem majority. If she is forced to leave this year or early next, Obama faces tjhe same huge fight to get anyone through the Senate, i.e, there’s nothing to be gained by retiring now.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    Given the state of America’s economy and it’s disastrous foreign policy, many are asking is Obama is still snorting.

    You appear to be the one who is strung out on drugs…who in their right mind would actually argue that the economy and America’s foreign policy were actually better during the Bush years than they are now…

  32. al-Ameda-415 says:

    @John425:

    @al-Ameda: You may have made an irrelevant reply.

    Actually my reply was very relevant and somewhat irreverent.

    Also, I believe that both Bush and Obama used cocaine, although you’re right, Bush was more of alcohol-oriented (or maybe, disoriented.)

  33. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: It doesn’t bother me one bit about this falling to sleep or conked out drunk deal during the speech. The SOTU speeches are too long, overdone, and a waste of time anyway.
    If I showed up in the Supreme Court on a charge of public drunkenness ( not dui), then I hope that she would give me some understanding.