Justice Ginsburg Dissents From Trump Presidency

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on November 10, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no fan of President-elect Donald Trump. That's been clear since this summer, when she declared she didn't "even want to contemplate" Trump's impact on the Supreme Court and joked about moving to New Zealand should he be elected. Justice Ginsburg hasn't announced any relocation plans yet and she's been relatively silent on Trump since the election on Tuesday. That is, except in her attire.

During Wednesday's oral arguments, Justice Ginsburg appeared to wear her "dissent jabot" on the bench, which many are viewing as a "repudiation of Donald Trump's victory."

Notorious RBG's Notorious Dissent Jabot

Justice Ginsburg is known for her "jabots," the collars she has dons over her black robes, typically made of white lace. The jabot has been popularized by RGB, but it was actually first worn on the Supreme Court by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But unlike O'Connor, Justice Ginsburg has moved away from basic white frills, developing a rotating set of jabots, a whole lexicon of neck wear. There is a jabot from South Africa, a jabot from the Metropolitan Opera, and, most importantly here, a jabot she sports when issuing dissenting opinions.

The dissenting jabot is quite a piece: black velvet studded with gemstones. It is "fitting for dissents," Justice Ginsburg once told Katie Couric.

There were no dissents to be read on Wednesday, so the meaning of the jabot seemed clear. Justice Ginsburg was dissenting from the election and Donald Trump itself.

Justice Ginsburg's Worst Fears Come True?

Justice Ginsburg, who devoted much of her life and career to advancing the legal rights of women, shocked many this summer when she broke with decorum and spoke out against Donald Trump. "I can't imagine what this place would be," she said, referring to the Supreme Court, "with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the Court, it could be -- I don't even want to contemplate that."

Soon after, she called Trump a "faker" who "says whatever comes into his head at the moment."

And all this came in July, before Donald Trump pledged during the debates that Roe v. Wade would be overturned "automatically" if he selected Supreme Court justices. Before recordings of him bragging about sexually assaulting women emerged. Before Trump barked "such a nasty woman" at his opponent.

Which is to say, we doubt Justice Ginsburg's view of Trump has improved in recent months.

Justice Ginsburg walked her summertime criticisms back a few days after she made them, saying that they were "ill-advised" and that she regretted them. "Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office," Ginsburg said. "In the future I will be more circumspect."

A dissent jabot is a bit more circumspect indeed.

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