6 Delightful Reasons Ruth Bader Ginsburg Would Be The Best Friend Ever
Whatever side of the political aisle you happen to favor, there's no denying that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the coolest. From her trademark witticisms to her excellent taste in fashion, the SCOTUS judge has superseded everyone's expectations over the past few decades to become one of the most recognizable faces in the landscape of modern government. But don't take it from me — between her immense list of accomplishments and her adorable personal quirks, here are plenty of reasons that RBG would make the best friend ever.
In real life, RBG tends to pal around with fellow SCOTUS judge Antonin Scalia — the conservative (and often irate) voice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In contrast, Ginsburg tends to vote along a generally liberal agenda, at least on most major issues. Still, the two have overcome their legal quarrels throughout the years to maintain a strong and lasting friendship. For his part, Scalia says there's a good reason for it.
"What's not to like, except her views on the law?"he joked to NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg in February. When Totenberg pressed the duo on Ginsburg's notorious nod-off at the State of the Union address that same month, Ginsberg admitted that she hadn't been "100 percent sober," and confessed that though she had "vowed this year, just sparkling water, stay away from the wine," by the end of her pre-SOTU meal with Justice Kennedy, "the dinner was so delicious it needed wine to accompany it." Right on, RBG. (In typical sarcastic fashion, Scalia then quipped, "That's the first intelligent thing you've done.")
Aside from her astute taste in wine, there are at least a handful of other reasons Ginsburg would be an excellent bestie:
She Kicks Ass (Literally)
RBG might be rounding the corner on 83, but the SCOTUS judge could totally take someone in a fight, according to The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin. In a profile for his book The Oath, Toobin discovered that the 5-foot tall, 100-pound Ginsburg not only works out regularly, but also employs a personal trainer — 48-year-old former military parachuter Bryant Johnson. "When I started [training with Johnson], I looked like a survivor of Auschwitz — now I'm up to 20 push-ups," Ginsburg told Toobin in an interview.
Holocaust joke aside, that's pretty impressive, RBG.
She Hosts Tea Parties In Her SCOTUS Chambers
In November this year, The New York Times' Philip Galanes praised RBG's surprising willingness to sit down and chat with him and feminist icon Gloria Steinem for an interview, as well as her generous offer of tea in her own SCOTUS chambers. "The logistics [of scheduling an interview like this] are often — no, usually — a nightmare, [because] the people we're talking about are incredibly busy and hard-working," Galanes explained. "Justice Ginsburg was not only kind enough to accept [our invitation], she also hosted us in her private chambers at the Supreme Court."
Best lunch date ever. (Do you think she takes requests?)
She Speaks Fluent Sarcasm
Aren't dry humor and scathing in-jokes the most important part of any friendship? If you befriend RBG, prepare to having your mind blown by barbs that are equal parts witty and truthy — like the one she doled out to a group of law students at Georgetown University in Washington this past February. "People ask me sometimes, when — when do you think it will it be enough? When will there be enough women on the court?" Ginsburg recounted. "And my answer is when there are nine."
Ginsburg isn't afraid to get a little snappy either. In her dissent to the 2012 Shelby County, Alabama ruling (which struck down parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and enabled several southern states to change election laws without approval from the federal government), Ginsburg scornfully admonished the Court's decision, saying,
Throwing out [the Voting Rights Act] when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.
She's Not Afraid To Bask In The Glory Once In A While
While a lot of women are afraid to accept praise for fear of seeming self-centered or snobbish, RBG is more than happy to accept the love that's been flooding her way ever since a famous Tumblr was started and then group of ingenious graphic artists smacked her face onto a T-shirt and emblazoned it with the phrase "Notorious RBG."
"My grandchildren love [the tees] and I try to keep abreast of the latest that's on the Tumblr," Ginsburg joked to Nina Totenberg at an event in October. "In fact, I think I gave you a Notorious RBG [shirt] — I have quite a large supply."
I mean, if you're just giving them out, RBG, I'll gladly take a couple... does it come with a lifetime supply of RBG friendship too?
She Has Her Own Comic Book Series
Seriously. The woman is a legend.
She Fights For The Little Guy (Sometimes Free Of Charge)
In her early days as a lawyer in New Jersey, Ginsburg recalled having a tough time securing work in her profession (no one wanted to hire a female lawyer at the time). Rather than sitting back and letting her adversaries win, Ginsburg turned her attention to volunteering as an advocacy lawyer with the state's American Civil Liberties Union, focusing on a wave of sex discrimination cases that came in the wake of the historic Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Years later, the SCOTUS justice was able to effectively push for equal pay for female law professors at Rutgers University as well, and became a celebrated advocate for underdogs and overlooked groups everywhere.
Basically, if you're looking for a best friend that will inspire you to be better, RBG is definitely it.
Image: Getty Images/Mary Rabun for Bustle