Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

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John F
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Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by John F » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:44 pm

After the Play, a Supreme Encore From Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Originalist
Off Broadway, Play, Comedy/Drama
1 hr. and 45 min.
Closing Date: Aug. 19, 2018
59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St.
212-279-4200

By Laura Collins-Hughes
July 30, 2018

On Sunday afternoon, at about 20 minutes to 2, the crowd milling on the sidewalk outside 59E59 Theaters burst into applause. The star had arrived. Not Edward Gero, who plays Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in “The Originalist,” the Off Broadway comedy they were about to see, but Scalia’s treasured colleague and ideological opposite, Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the one justice on today’s court who has become a true pop-culture force.

Her silver hair pulled elegantly back, she was dressed all in black, with fishnet gloves, and when bystanders in the lobby spotted her making her way toward the auditorium, their eyes popped. She had been advertised as a participant in a post-show discussion with the play’s director, Molly Smith, so her presence was not a surprise. But still: There is only one Notorious R.B.G.

“The Originalist,” by John Strand, had its premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, in 2015, the year before Scalia died. It’s a debate play, full of legal wonkery; audience members were handed a pocket copy of the Constitution as they came in — a gesture, not a study aide. As the show’s title reminds us, Scalia was an originalist, arguing that the Constitution must be interpreted as it would have been by the men who wrote it.

In the play, he hires a young liberal, a fellow Harvard Law graduate named Cat (Tracy Ifeachor), to sharpen his arguments through her opposition. “Law clerk and sparring partner,” the pugnacious Scalia says when he gives her the job. And this is what the play is mainly about: two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum who choose to be in the same room, trying to persuade and understand each other. If that was unusual in 2012, the year the play begins, it seems almost bizarre in the fervid, divided culture we inhabit now.

“It’s true that every once in a while, Scalia did pick, deliberately, a liberal clerk,” Justice Ginsburg said, settled into a chair onstage after the performance. “He enjoyed the sparring,” she added.

That was part of her relationship with Scalia, too, which she traced back to the days when they were both teaching law — she at Columbia, he at the University of Chicago — and she attended a lecture he gave. "I disagreed with most of what he said,” she recalled, drawing a laugh, “but he said it in such a charming, amusing way. And if truth be told, if I had my choice of dissenters when I was writing for the court, it would be Justice Scalia, because he was so smart, and he would home in on all the soft spots, and then I could fix up my majority opinion.” Another big laugh. “Sometimes it was like a Ping-Pong game between us.”

For all his bellicosity, the Scalia in “The Originalist” is also a charmer, balancing his ursine ferocity with a thoughtful quietude. Justice Ginsburg, who is 85 and figures in the play only as an offstage presence (“I love Ruth Ginsburg,” Scalia says), painted the real Scalia as a considerate and mischievous colleague who, from the time they were appellate judges together in the 1980s, was not above whispering in her ear or passing her a note to crack her up.

“Scalia was a very good writer, and he did labor over his opinions,” she said. “Both of us did. And sometimes he would come to my chambers, to tell me I had made a grammatical error.” The crowd roared. “I would sometimes tell him his opinion was so strident he would be more persuasive if he toned it down.” A pause, because she knows how to deliver a line. Then: “He never took that advice.”

Their friendship was grounded in love of law, opera and, Justice Ginsburg said on Sunday, family. During his lifetime their rapport was the object of much fascination, and also the subject of a comic opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg.”

Justice Ginsburg — who officiated when Ms. Smith married her partner, Suzanne Blue Star Boy, in 2014 — has been gaining in cultural currency. There are the books about her, like “Notorious RBG” and “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark,” whose title was emblazoned on the book bag at her feet. Felicity Jones is playing her in a biopic, “On the Basis of Sex,” due out in December. And there is the well-received documentary “RBG,” released this spring.

In “The Originalist,” Cat describes herself as a flaming liberal — a fact Justice Ginsburg noted before saying, calmly and with a small flourish of her left hand, “Well, I consider myself a flaming feminist.”

One of the most vociferous liberals on a divided court, she didn’t discuss the drama surrounding Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. But when the subject of her own eventual retirement came up, she cited the example of Justice John Paul Stevens. “He stepped down when he was 90,” she said, “so I think I have about, at least five more years.”

Nominated by President Bill Clinton, she has been on the Supreme Court since 1993. When Ms. Smith asked how that time has altered her, Justice Ginsburg spoke not of law or ideology but of the intensity of the spotlight — and her own impish way of dealing with it. “One change in my life is now I’m recognized,” she said. “And every once in a while, when someone comes up to me and says, ‘Oh, Justice Ginsburg, you are my idol,’ I say, ‘Um, so many people have told me that I look just like her.’”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/thea ... calia.html
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:34 am

I don't know the details these days, but Supreme Court justices traditionally have gone almost entirely without security. Many if not all of them drove themselves to work every day. I once saw William Rehnquist walking down the hallway of BWI airport all by himself. People seem not to understand the immense power these folks have over us. It even goes over the head of shoot-em-up crazies.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:17 am

I find it super ironic that Bill Clinton could appoint a feminist judge!! Think about it.

John F
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by John F » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:31 am

Not ironic at all, since he married a strongly feminist woman and has stayed married to her through thick and thin for 43 years. It's a safe guess that she had something to do with the appointment of Justice Ginsburg. That seat was going to be filled with a woman anyway.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:25 am

John F wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:31 am
Not ironic at all, since he married a strongly feminist woman and has stayed married to her through thick and thin for 43 years. It's a safe guess that she had something to do with the appointment of Justice Ginsburg. That seat was going to be filled with a woman anyway.
You're not serious!! He humiliates her in front of the whole world, over and over, and she stays with him because she's a feminist!!??? That's a brand new definition I never want a bar of!!

John F
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by John F » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:41 am

It's not my definition, and you've got it wrong about both of them anyway. Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce, on average after about 8 years, it's common and easy here, but theirs hasn't. I'm not interested in arguing about it, there's no point to it, so I'll leave it at that.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 am

"By their fruits shall ye know them".

lennygoran
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:56 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:25 am
You're not serious!! He humiliates her in front of the whole world, over and over, and she stays with him because she's a feminist!!??? That's a brand new definition I never want a bar of!!
This made me think of her comment on 60 minutes which got her in a lot of trouble. BTW maybe Bill Clinton humiliated her but it's no where close to how Trump has humiliated imo the entire US. Regards, Len :(


Belle
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:27 pm

I recommend this as the ideal antidote - as well as gardening, travelling and good food!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgyz0XqDEEA

lennygoran
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:18 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:27 pm
I recommend this as the ideal antidote - as well as gardening, travelling and good food!!
Thanks, that was very nice! Regards, Len :)

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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by living_stradivarius » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:05 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:34 am
People seem not to understand the immense power these folks have over us. It even goes over the head of shoot-em-up crazies.
That's actually quite interesting, and quite odd. I guess those types of people would have a hard time identifying them dressed in normal clothes?
Image

jbuck919
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Re: Justice Ginsburg at the theatre

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:09 am

living_stradivarius wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:05 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:34 am
People seem not to understand the immense power these folks have over us. It even goes over the head of shoot-em-up crazies.
That's actually quite interesting, and quite odd. I guess those types of people would have a hard time identifying them dressed in normal clothes?
Rehnquist, who was disheveled under normal circumstances, was unmistakable.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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