The claim: RBG said this about bipartisanship
The battle over who should fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court – and whether it should be filled before the election – has drawn a stark divide between Democrats and Republicans. A Facebook post claims this split goes against what the justice stood for.
The post attributes the following to Ginsburg: “I think it will take people, true patriots, on both sides of the aisle to say, ‘Enough of this nonsense. We should work together for the good of the people of the United States.’”
Commenters lauded Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, and her views, opining that America needs to understand the quote “now more than ever.”
“Love what this lady stood for. Rest in peace,” one commenter wrote.
The Facebook user who made the post did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
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Ginsburg did say that about past bipartisanship in Congress
In a conversation at the Kennedy Center with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and crime fiction author Donna Leon in 2019, Ginsburg discussed a way forward for young people discouraged by the political climate.
DiDonato, who interviewed Ginsburg and Leon, asked the justice how she had remained close friends with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia despite their opposing views.
“Today, this idea of division is growing stronger and wider and stronger and wider, and both sides feel morally charged and morally right,” DiDonato said. “And I find myself using language such as they and us. … I would love pointers as to how this idea of unification and agreeing to disagree but also fighting for what is right.”
Ginsburg described a scene from an opera written about her friendship with Scalia, titled “Scalia/Ginsburg: the opera.” In the scene, Scalia is locked in a dark room, being “punished for excessive dissenting.” Ginsburg descends from a glass ceiling, she said, and tries to help Scalia out of the room.
Fact check: It’s true, Ginsburg and Scalia were close friends despite ideological differences
Another character asks Ginsburg why she’s trying to help Scalia, to which she says he’s “not her enemy, he’s her dear friend” before singing a duet. Ginsburg compared the scene to Congress.
She said that in her life, she had seen the same type of bipartisanship in Congress, pointing to her Supreme Court confirmation process, in which the vote to confirm her was 96-3. The three senators who opposed her elevation to the nation’s highest court, she said, did not put a hold on her nomination, even though they could have.
She said that willingness to work together no longer existed, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t ever again.
Now, it’s very different. They divide on judges along party lines, which is not the way it should be. The reverence for the institution they serve is no longer there. But we spoke about the pendulum, and when it goes too far in one direction, it will move back.
I think it will take people – true patriots – on both sides of the aisle to say, ‘Enough of this nonsense. We should work together for the good of the people of the United States.’”
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Our rating: True
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did say the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post, so we rate the claim as TRUE.
Our fact-check sources:
The Kennedy Center on Youtube, Nov. 10, 2019, A Motion for Peace: A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joyce DiDonato and Donna Leon
Composer Derrick Wang, Scalia/Ginsburg: the opera
USA TODAY, Sept. 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation’s leading litigator for women’s rights
USA TODAY, Sept. 27, Fact check: It’s true, Ginsburg and Scalia were close friends despite ideological differences
U.S. Senate, Supreme Court Nominations (1789-Present)
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: RBG said bipartisanship needs ‘patriots’ on both sides