Anyone who watched the president’s State of the Union address last month must have noticed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nodding off on the front row. I cringed at the time, knowing full well that conservatives would have a field day with it. More ammunition for those who want her off the bench because of her age (81). And I readily confess I wish she’d step down while Obama is still in office so that he can appoint another liberal to replace her. I fear for her health and ability to stay on the job for another 2 years, much less 6 or likely 10 years if a Republican is elected in 2016.
That said, I really cringed this morning when I read reports quoting her as saying last night that she “wasn’t 100% sober” that night. She’d had some wine at dinner with the other justices. Sure enough, conservative news outlets are saying she was “drunk.”
Now, I may be splitting hairs here and may not be at all qualified to comment since I rarely drink. But depending on the individual’s tolerance (I readily admit I have none), I don’t think a few glasses of wine at dinner necessarily make you “drunk.” I do think it very possible that having some wine at dinner and then sitting in a warm room listening to a boring speech can make a lot of people sleepy.
Anyway, I just wanted to speak in Justice Ginsburg’s defense. I admire her tremendously and imagine she’s much too smart to have gotten “drunk” before an event like a nationally televised State of the Union address. Sure, I could be wrong. She might be a hopeless alcoholic who got totally wasted at dinner that night. But I tend to doubt it.