To pass the time as the nation waited for the DOMA decision last week, the Court-watcher superhub SCOTUSblog, staffed by seasoned court reporters and lawyers, took questions from readers. Do the clerks stay to hear the decisions? Can Ruth Bader Ginsburg really do twenty pushups? Is a decision really coming today?
"Has anyone perused the SCOTUS cookbook?" asked one reader. "Is it worth the $25?"
"The stories about Marty Ginsburg, Justice Ginsburg, are worth way more than $25," answered SCOTUSblog editor Amy Howe. But the book received other endorsements as well.
"I had the opportunity to interview Justice Ginsburg serveral times in 2004-2005," wrote in another reader who'd been watching the liveblog, "and each time Prof. Marty Ginsburg would bake us his lemon poppy-seed pound cake to eat during the interview. The man could really bake."
I don't need to be told twice to acquire a niche cookbook. Once The Atlantic's legal analysts had filed their takes on the cases of the day, and the crush was over, off I was to the Supreme Court gift shop.
For those who followed the last two weeks of the Court's term closely, the spiral-bound collection is bound to fascinate for at least one reason. It's not just that the book--a selection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's husband's recipes, which he apparently often made for the Supreme Court spouses at their lunches--contains stories about a remarkable man and an exceptional marriage. It's not just that it provides an unusual angle from which to consider the individuals who make such tremendous decisions, and the families that support them. Nor still is it that the recipes are genuinely good, as I quickly discovered testing them. No, what Court-watchers of the past weeks will notice is that the book was put together by Martha-Ann Alito, the wife of Justice Alito, who was recently criticized for apparent rudeness to Justice Ginsburg as she read her Voting Rights Act dissent. The Supreme Court may have its moments of discord, but these recipes and stories were collected by Justice Alito's wife in memory of Justice Ginsburg's husband, "on behalf of the Supreme Court spouses."