Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#NotoriousRBG vs #Trump

Mary L. Dudziak

In posts on Justice Ginsburg's recent comments about Donald Trump, Stephen Griffin defends her with, in essence, a necessity defense -- we are not living in ordinary times. Gerard Magliocca suggests that an icon is embarrassing herself at the end of her career. Mark Tushnet emphasizes that norms change. This is all fine...but I think is missing the heart of the matter. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not only the Justice that so many of us admire. She is the social media phenomenon: #NotoriousRBG.
In the social media world, it is nothing short of brilliant for #NotoriousRBG to take on #Trump. Was it bad judicial behavior? Sure -- and we've seen more of that from her colleagues, of course. It was by violating expectations, by cracking the facade of judicial neutrality, by misbehaving that she made a powerful statement.

I disagree with Gerard, however, that Ginsburg should be embarrassed. This misbehavior shouldn't be surprising from a woman who had to break so many barriers as a young lawyer. It may be a cliche that "well behaved women seldom make history," but it is still refreshing to see a historic figure like Ginsburg misbehave.

My hat's off to #NotoriousRBG.

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