Justice Ginsburg on the Death Penalty and Being a “Great Diva”

February 4th, 2013

Justice Ginsburg gave an interview about Opera on WQXR, and she touched on the death penalty.

RBG: Every time I have to participate in a case where someone has been sentenced to death, I feel that same conflict. When you are with a group of nine people, the highest court in the land, you can’t pretend to be king or queen. If I had may way, there would be no death penalty. But the death penalty for now, is the law. But I can say, I won’t participate in those cases, then I would not be an influence.Q: But it’s not the law in every state:

RBG: No, but it is the law in most states. Well over half states.

Q: I don’t want to get too involved in this. How does this translate to the highest Court?

RBG: There is a question about the fairness of the trial. Maybe the prosecutor failed to disclose exculpatory evidence. Maybe the defendant was not mentally competent. These are the issues that come to us.

Interestingly, RBG would not take the approach that Justices Brennan and Marshall did–that the death penalty was always unconstitutional. Yet, their position became marginalized because they perpetually dissented.

RBG also spoke to her true career ambititions–being a “Diva.” RBG is asked when she knew she had a talent for law, and what she wanted to be.

RBG: My first answer is not a great lawyer. It is, I would be a great diva. But I totally lacked that talent, so the next best thing is the law.

I think we would all agree that Justice Ginsburg is the finest diva at One First Street.

RBG also touches on Wagner’s music, which she said is “associated with the Third Reich.”

Her interviews comes on around 5:45.

H/T How Appealing