Policy

Ginsburg Sports Rainbow Neckwear at Supreme Court

No one knows if the liberal justice is sending a message about gay rights

Ginsburg wore this decorative neckwear at the 2010 State of the Union Address. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At the Supreme Court, rainbow could be the new black.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wore a rainbow-colored collar on the bench during oral arguments Wednesday, standing out from the typical staid black robes of the justices. It was the second day in a row Ginsburg showed some fashion flair from the bench in the new Supreme Court term that started Monday.

The rainbow collar was a gift from Jill Morrison, the executive director of Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Georgetown Law School. Ginsburg is a longtime supporter of the program, as was her late husband, Martin, Morrison said.

“I was traveling in Ecuador and spotted it and thought it would be perfect for her,” Morrison said of the gift shop find. “I was especially taken by the rainbow colors, of course, given the court’s marriage equality opinion.”

Morrison was referring to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in 2015 that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry, which made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Ginsburg was in the majority of that decision.

It's anyone guess if the reliably liberal Ginsburg is sending a message about LGBT rights from the bench. The 83-year-old Bill Clinton appointee has been more outspoken in the past months, including sharp comments criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that she later said she regretted.

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And get used to it: Morrison said Ginsburg told her she would wear the rainbow-hued neckwear often this term. The justice used oral arguments Wednesday in criminal cases for this collar's court debut.

During Tuesday’s oral arguments, Ginsburg wore a collar that was a gift from the New Mexico Bar Association, which she visited in August, the Supreme Court press office said.

Ginsburg seemingly has a decorative collar for any occasion. In 2014, Ginsburg in an interview with Katie Couric showed off the collar she wears when announcing a majority opinion from the bench, and the one she wears when she is dissenting from an opinion.

It wasn’t the first time Ginsburg has worn neckwear given to her from the Women’s Law program, Morrison said. One collar she wore to the State of the Union address, and a New York Times photo captured her wearing another one.

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