'I wasn't 100 per cent sober': Supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozed during Obama's State of the Union Address

The supreme court justice blamed having wine with dinner

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The Independent Online

As a justice of the supreme court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably has to sit through a lot of speeches.

But even a front-row seat at Barack Obama's State of the Union Address couldn't keep Ginsburg awake.

Justice Ruth Bader has made public the known, but unspoken, link between presidents and Supreme Court judges

The 81-year-old judge admitted that her nap at the speech in January had followed a little too much of the old vino collapso. Ginsburg was seen nodding off, with her neighbours elbowing her to try and wake her up.

“The audience for the most part is awake, because they are bobbing up and down all the time and we sit there, stone-faced, sober justices,” said Ginsburg. “But we’re not, at least I wasn’t, 100% sober.”


Ginsburg has past form for guerilla naps, which has become something of a tradition. She blamed her 2013 snooze on a “very good California wine” a fellow judge had supplied for dinner.

“I vowed this year just sparkling water, stay away from the wine, but the dinner was so delicious it needed wine,” said Ginsburg, who had a front-row seat for Obama’s speech.

Ginsburg this week announced that she believed the United States was ready for gay marriage to be enshrined in US law as a constitutional right.

She told Bloomberg on Wednesday: The change in people's attitudes on that issue has been enormous. In recent years, people have said, 'This is the way I am.' And others looked around, and we discovered it's our next-door neighbor — we're very fond of them. Or it's our child's best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that 'this is who I am,' the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.