Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “I had to be told by my law clerks, what’s this Notorious.”


Katie Couric talked to Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, the likelihood that she’ll stick around past Obama’s term (thus putting her spot up for potential Republican replacement), her judicial argument with Roe v. Wade (“not the result, not the judgment, but the opinion… [it] gave the right-to-life people a single target to move at”), and the question that shall not be named (“Who — man or woman — has it all, all at once?”).

The absolute best part, though, is when Couric tells Ginsburg that her Hobby Lobby opinion made her “a bit of a rockstar online, are you aware of this?”

“I think it started before Hobby Lobby,” replies Ginsburg. Couric then shows her a bunch of internet stuff about her, including the Notorious RBG Tumblr.

“She has created a wonderful thing with Notorious R.B.G.,” Ginsburg said of the site. “I will admit I had to be told by my law clerks, what’s this Notorious. And they — they explained that to me.”

Ginsburg also showed her collection of lace collars — called “jabots” — to Couric. She has a special collar she wears for when she’s dissenting, and another for when she is in the majority.

The whole interview is great: when the RBG Tumblr creator asks Ginsburg what past opinions she’d have liked to have written the dissent to, Ginsburg brings up (I think) Geduldig v. Aiello (1974), where, in her words, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy was ruled different from discrimination on the basis of sex. “That’s about as wrong as can be,” says Ginsburg calmly.