Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wasn’t ‘100% Sober' at SOTU

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wasn’t ‘100% Sober' at SOTU

By Victoria Kim 02/13/15

Ginsberg added to her already notorious reputation by admitting that it was wine, not Obama, that put her to sleep.

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Notorious R.G.B. Wiki Commons

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg blamed alcohol for lulling her to sleep during the State of the Union address last month.

“The audience, for the most part, is awake because they are bobbing up and down and we sit there, stone faced,” she said Thursday during an event in Washington, D.C. “But we’re not, at least I was not, 100 percent sober.”

The 81-year-old Ginsburg, who also fell asleep during the State of the Union in 2010 and 2013, admitted she slept through the speech “as I often do."

Before the annual speech, the justices have dinner together, and Justice Anthony Kennedy had brought a bottle of “very fine California wine,” Ginsburg said. “I vowed this year just sparkling water—stay away from the wine—but the dinner was so delicious that it needed wine.”

This candid confession just adds to Ginsburg’s charm, in the eyes of her adoring fans. Last year, she discovered the “Notorious R.B.G.” a Tumblr on all things Ginsburg, from her best quotes to memes.

She even has “quite a large supply” of t-shirts bearing her face and her nickname, a play on rapper Notorious B.I.G.

“The ‘Notorious R.B.G.’ was started by a student at NYU Law School, and when the Tumblr first appeared, I asked my law clerks, ‘What is this all about?’ but I didn’t know about Notorious B.I.G.” she told Bloomberg this month. "And then I discovered that we had at least one thing in common: we both grew up in Brooklyn.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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