During a forum hosted at Georgetown University on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lamented over the recent brutal battle to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the high court.
Ginsburg, who was confirmed to the court in Aug. 1993 by a vote of 96-3, noted during her remarks that her confirmation process garnered bipartisan support, even from staunch Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah). That, despite her career with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is widely seen as a liberal organization, prior to her nomination to the Washington D.C., appellate court in 1980.
That's the way a Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process should go, Ginsburg, 84, said.
"What I remember was the collegiality, the civility of those hearings, that entire process," she said, according to the Washington Examiner. "For Justice Breyer who came one year after, it was pretty much the same — a collegial atmosphere."
"Watching the most recent confirmations, I wish there was a way that we could wave a magic wand and get back to the way it was and the way it should be," she added.
Ginsburg talking about confirmation hearings: "I wish things could go back to the way it used to be." #RBGatGU— Georgetown Law (@Georgetown Law)1493325672.0
Ginsburg explained that the person she believes is most happy to see Gorsuch on the court is Associate Justice Elena Kagen, who prior to Gorsuch's confirmation was the high court's most junior justice. That position comes with unique responsibilities, such as being the head of the "kitchen committee," taking notes and answering the door when the justices meet in private. Now that Gorsuch is on the bench, those responsibilities are his.
During her remarks, Ginsburg also touched on her relationship with Antonin Scalia, who suddenly died last year and was succeeded on the court by Gorsuch. As she has often said since her good friend Scalia passed, Ginsburg reminded the forum that two people who are ideological opposites can still be the best of friends.
"Two people who disagree about very important things can still very much enjoy each other," she said.
Ginsburg speaking of Justice Scalia: "2 people who disagree about very important things can still very much enjoy each other." #RBGatGU— Georgetown Law (@Georgetown Law)1493326895.0