Justice Ginsburg: “I wouldn’t be caught dead without the Constitution … which I carry with me … wherever I go.” RBG FTW!

January 20th, 2010

Justice Ginsburg gave an interview to the Columbia Law School Magazine (H/T @JessBravin). When asked what would she never leave home without, she said the Constitution! Yes! Win! I keep a Constitution in every suit jacket, and I would never go anywhere without one. Major props to Ginsburg, J.

Finish this sentence: I wouldn’t be caught dead without . . .
The Constitution of the United States, which I carry with me in my pocket wherever I go, all over the world. I have it with me at this very moment in that tote bag [gesturing toward bag]. The United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution still in force in the world. We are not that old, as far as nations go. But we do have the oldest fundamental instrument of government. And we treat it not simply as aspirational law. We treat it as law to be applied. That’s special. Many countries have constitutions with all kinds of guarantees that are not enforced and not respected by the government. We have a well-over-200-year tradition of treating the Constitution as governing law—the law trumping all others. Something else I like about our Constitution: We present it warts and all. The 1787 draft included the fugitive slave clause and preserved the slave trade until 1808. We keep those in publications of the Constitution, but with a footnote that says “repealed by . . .”

The Constitution is like American Express. Never leave home without it.