Speed Reads


Newly released memo from Clinton Library harshly critiques Ruth Bader Ginsburg


In the latest release from the Clinton administration document dump, the White House paints a less-than-flattering picture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at that time still just a candidate for the Supreme Court.

"She sees us as having a stake in presenting her as a moderate and in getting along well with the Senate," wrote then-White House Associate Counsel Ron Klain in a memo. "She sees her interests as 'being herself,' preserving her 'dignity,' and promoting her 'independence.'"

The memo, reported on by Time, goes on to list Ginsburg's other faults. Among them: "She has an instinct for defending some rather extreme liberal views" held by the American Civil Liberties Union; and she would face difficulty in her Senate confirmation hearings because of "her failure to make eye contact, her halting speech," and "her 'laconic' nature."

To sum up Ginsburg's viability as a candidate, Klain wrote, "Judge Ginsburg views the White House's interest and her interests as being at odds with each other."

So take note, aspiring Supreme Court judges: If you value being yourself, preserving your dignity, or promoting your independence, you may find the road to D.C. a tough one to tread. (On the other hand, Justice Ginsburg has sat on the Supreme Court since 1993 in spite of this memo, so maybe those same qualities proved helpful.)