LINCOLN, NEB. (LFA) — Saying that she no longer felt wanted after 17 years with U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg yesterday signed a one-year contract with the struggling U.S. District Court of Nebraska.
“I’ve still got some gas left in the tank,” she said at a press conference announcing the signing. “While I’ll always be indebted to the Supreme Court and its fans for giving me some of the best judicial years of my life, I want to prove I can still perform at a high level. I’m excited to start doing everything I need to do to help bring the next groundbreaking constitutional precedent to Nebraska.”
That will prove to be quite a challenge to the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, which many feel to be still in a rebuilding phase. Last year, the Court saw a whopping 73 percent of its decisions overturned at the Circuit Court level, leading to the firing of the court’s clerk as the caseload plummeted. Insiders say that Ginsburg signing makes sense for the Court, however, as a high-profile justice on the bench will help fill the docket even if the panel has yet another disappointing cycle.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring in a judicial legend such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This immediately makes us competitive with the other District courts in our circuit,” said newly hired court clerk James Orbellet. “To celebrate, we would like all litigators to know that the first 2,000 plaintiffs to file in our court this week will receive a free Ginsburg bobble-head doll.”
Reaction in Washington was mixed. Although all universally praised the justice for the role she played in crafting some of the most forward-looking constitutional precedent of the past two decades — including, notably, striking down public male-only military academies in United States v. Virginia despite only having served on the Court for three years — other fans said the drop-off in her performance was noticeable. Last cycle, Ginsburg was assigned the least number of opinions than any other time in her career.
“She was one of the very best, without a doubt,” said expert Supreme Court commentator Jacob Wersler. “But these days she’s a shadow of her former self. It’s painful to read, and now we’re all going to witness as her career voting statistics sink. It’s always sad when a great justice doesn’t know when to hang up the robe.”
Ginsburg will take the bench for the U.S. District Court of Nebraska’s first session of the cycle next week. Tickets to oral arguments in a routine labor dispute have already sold out.