Open Thread Potpourri: Justice Ginsburg Is Gay-Marrying John Roberts

separate but unequal fountains davies

(Matt Davies via


No, not that John Roberts:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first Supreme Court member to conduct a same-sex marriage ceremony Saturday when she officiates at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser.

The gala wedding of Kaiser and economist John Roberts at the performing arts center brings together the nation’s highest court and the capital’s high society and will mark a new milepost in the recognition of same-sex unions…

Ginsburg and Kaiser are close friends. She is perhaps the Supreme Court’s most ardent supporter of the fine arts, especially opera. Kaiser, 59, has been at the helm of the Kennedy Center since 2001 and is an internationally recognized expert in arts management and one of Washington’s most influential civic leaders…

I understand that Justice Scalia is also an opera aficionado, but I’m not sure whether his name is on the guest list.

(Hat tip to commentor JGabriel, although I think he linked to a different source.)

Advice from the ever-helpful Gail Collins (with a Cole-adjacent tie-in):

It is time to start thinking about running for the U.S. Senate. Allow me to explain.

There are no major Congressional elections this fall, except that one lone Senate special election in New Jersey, where Cory Booker is facing The Person Running Against Cory Booker. We need to look forward to 2014. There are already some exciting races shaping up, like the one in Kentucky where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is battling for his survival with the help of a campaign manager who admits having said he was “sort of holding my nose” to stay in McConnell’s corner…

And then there are other states where nobody is running at all. For instance, Democratic Senator Tim Johnson is retiring in South Dakota, and his party seems to be having a hell of a time just finding a serious nominee. (Democratic position: “We are aggressively recruiting in South Dakota and plan on being competitive there.”)

The cupboard is also sort of bare in Montana, where Senator Max Baucus is retiring. But not in West Virginia. This is Senator Jay Rockefeller’s seat, and for a long while it looked as if nobody in the entire state was interested in being the Democratic nominee to replace him. But now the party may have a promising volunteer in the form of Natalie Tennant, who is both the secretary of state and the former mascot of the West Virginia University football team.

Happily, being the West Virginia mascot does not involve jumping around at games dressed like a gopher or a frog or the Fighting Okra. WVU’s mascot is “The Mountaineer,” who looks like Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. Tennant in 1990 was the first woman ever to have the job. “People would throw cups at her. They would chant: ‘We don’t want a mountain deer. Bring us back our Mountaineer,’ ” the campus mascot adviser once told a local magazine…

Here’s your mission, people. Start to check out the Senate races — there are going to be 35 next year, and 10 or 12 might involve real competition. You may want to send a few of the candidates donations — control of Congress hangs in the balance. The rest of the pack aren’t going to require much attention. Unless, of course, one of the parties doesn’t seem prepared to produce a nominee. Then you know what you have to do.

66 replies
  1. 1

    Scalia loves opera? Such a drama queen.

  2. 2
    EconWatcher says:

    Once the struggle for gay equality is won (and victory seems to be in sight), what’s the next major frontier in civil rights?

  3. 3
    raven says:

    @EconWatcher: Voting rights?

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Justice Ginsburg rocks! What a nice story to start the long holiday weekend. Much happiness to the Kaiser-Robertses.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Seems wrong to have to go back and REfight that particular battle. But of course we must.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Open Thread musing.

    So, as confirmation of element 115 now seems solid, soon will come the task of choosing an official name for it.


    Pass it on.

    (Alternate proposal: Fred [the friendly element]).

  7. 7

    @NotMax: How about Upsidaisium [vide Rocky and Bullwinkle]?

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @Mustang Bobby

    Speaking of Rocky & Bullwinkle, June Foray (voice of Rocky and also Natasha, among a multitude of others) will be given the Governor’s Awards at the Emmys on Sept. 15, three days before she turns 96.

    “Each year the Board of Governors recognizes a person or organization whose contributions to our industry will forever live on,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. “June Foray absolutely embodies everything that this honor represents. A legend and a pioneer, June is not only in a class of her own, but she literally created that class. There is simply no one more deserving of this honor.” Source

  9. 9
    lone1c says:

    If Canadians had something to do with finding element 115, they may insist on naming it Bob.

  10. 10
    danielx says:

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first Supreme Court member to conduct a same-sex marriage ceremony Saturday when she officiates at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser.

    Maybe it’ll give Fat Tony a stroke. And the loss of one of the finest legal minds of the fourteenth century would be such a tragedy…

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @danielx: Fat Tony’s life is a tragedy for those who believe in democracy and human rights.

  12. 12
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: FRED was the name for our dorm floor, the floor above us was “Ladies of the Ninth”. I stll have my FRED t-shirt.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    #8: Governors Award, not Governor’s Awards.

    Innocent typo, but no edit option.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Just as we have to re-fight the women’s rights battle. Makes my ass tired.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @Ash Can:

    I was just typing that very thing. I can’t believe we are re-fighting the same battles we thought we’d fought and won in the 60s and 70s.

  16. 16
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmm. What do we need another element for anyways?

  17. 17
    Emma says:

    @geg6: I have a feeling we will be revisiting those battles again and again. They are fighting a scorched-earth rearguard war.

    And you go, Justice Ruth!

  18. 18
    Poopyman says:

    @Suffern ACE: Keeps those highly paid post-docs employed.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    In my day, the periodic table stopped at 110, and we liked it!

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Poopyman: ok. But I hope this element is better than the last one. It seems that the periodic table really jumped the shark somewhere around Bohrium.

  21. 21
    Baud says:


    This exactly. They’re in the kamikaze phase of this battle. The only way we lose over the long run is if we give up (as we kind of did in 2010).

  22. 22
    eric says:

    @danielx: I am going to use the term “Fat Tony” to refer to a woody at an inappropriate time. So, “i was at the bar last night and this guy said ‘hi’ and almost had a Fat Tony.”

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Baud: There are some things that we’ve won where we’ve shifted the culture enough that it would be very, very difficult for anyone to mount a challenge. Loving v Virginia was less than 50 years ago. No doubt there are still people who disapprove but they’ve mostly learned that they’ve lost that battle.

    I remember reading somewhere in the last year a right winger somewhere saying that if they weren’t careful, gay marriage was going to wind up like interracial marriage, one of those things that if anybody dared to speak out against it in public they’d be branded a bigot and shunned by polite society. That was the best thing I’ve ever heard from such a contemptible person.

    There are other fights that we aren’t having to re-fight, but they’re so ingrained in our society that we don’t even notice them. Yes, women’s pay still lags, but the mere right for women to be employed is a big deal. Employers used to commonly refuse to hire women on the grounds that they would just get married and quit, or they wanted to give the job to a man because he had a family to support.

    Yes, we have a long way to go, but don’t let our utter triumph in some fields make you think there was never a fight.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    We hosted Ed FitzGerald at an event here last weekend, He’ll be the Dem nominee in the OH governor’s race. We had a pretty good turnout; we invited 50, expected 25 and got 40. I haven’t been involved in his campaign directly but some other people here are. The people who are involved had gone out to see him before our event and they were impressed.
    I agree. FitzGerald did a good job at the event. He comes off as really aggressive and high energy. He’ll have to be aggressive because Kasich will be the favorite, partly because he has recovered somewhat from his terrible start, but also partly because the incumbent usually wins. He also comes off as young younger than he is, actually, he’s mid-forties but he looks ten years younger.
    His campaign was pushing this PPP poll, which has Kasich as very vulnerable. It’s crazy because national media were pushing Kasich as “the Ohio miracle” just a week prior to the poll. I felt as if that was manufactured by him.
    Anyway, it’s one poll but Kasich’s big deficit is women. I think Kasich knows it, which is why he’s running around giving interviews where he’s “compassionate”. My own sense is his problem is much more practical and hard-headed than “a lack of compassion” though. The facts are he put in draconian abortion laws, a regressive tax structure, hammered public schools and he’s privatizing everything that isn’t tied down. I think women are responding to that rather than “tone”, because he’s been in there long enough to have this be a reality and trickle down to the county level. We’ll see.
    This is the poll they’re all talking about. It puts FitzGerald ahead, but it is of course just one poll.

  25. 25
    Baud says:


    The wood deserves more respect than that, IMHO.

  26. 26
    eric says:

    @Baud: but that is the problem, fat tony is ashamed of the wood.

  27. 27
    raven says:


  28. 28
    Baud says:


    It’s 9 in the morning where you are. What the hell game is on right now?

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @Baud: Game Day is the ESPN pre-football day show that has grown very popular in the past few years. They are at Clemson for tonight’s game with the Dawgs! Kickoff is only 11 1/2 hours!

    eta Most normal people would have NOTHING to do with this. I love it.

  30. 30
    the Conster says:


    Is Game Day giving you a Fat Tony?

  31. 31
    Baud says:


    Ah. I don’t consider myself all that normal, but pre-game crap does not interest me at all. Enjoy yourself, though. I know you’ve been pining for the start of football for a while now. ;-)

  32. 32
    Baud says:


    If Terry McAuliffe wins Virginia, I really hope the Dems can retake Ohio.


    The fight never ends, so no use complaining about it. All you can do is recognize what you’ve achieved and what we have to do next.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @Baud: Yea, it’s one of the great joy’s of my life.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    This is also interesting. It’s polling on Husted (the OH Sec of State). One would expect him to poll poorly among AA in OH because he’s a Republican, but he is the least popular Republican in Ohio.

    Among African-Americans, Jon Husted is the least popular Republican.

    People should not have such a strong opinion on a sec of state, because it’s not supposed to be a blatantly partisan office, and honestly, a lot of people here don’t even know who their US Senator is, let alone the Sec of State. I think it’s probably bad for him that he’s on their radar screen in such a negative way. You would expect them to have opinions on Kasich and Dewine, because Kasich is gov and DeWine has been around 100 years. I think it’s a reaction to voter suppression.

  35. 35
    eric says:

    @the Conster: no reason to have shameful wood for Gameday. I have watched UL beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl so many times now (UL fan) I now the play by play, I am READY for the season

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night. At around 4:00 am I found The Cutlery Corner Show on the T.V.* and kept it on in the background. It did the trick and I did get some shut eye (along with strange dreams).

    *The point of the post is for you to click the Youtube link for Cutler Corner. If you are not familiar with it, which I was not until 4:00 am today, it will either reassure that America is the land of the free because only here can such shows happen or we’re all doomed because people buy enough Cutlery Corner product to keep their business afloat.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    I’m off to Pentwater, MI for the holiday. It’s lovely. Our youngest is the much youngest, and he’s a middle schooler this year. He went to the football game last night and then to the “after party” that the school holds for 5, 6, 7 and 8. It’s the first year he’s allowed to go. He had a lot of fun.
    He’ll now want to socialize on weekends rather than going places with us :)
    I knew he was an extrovert so it was only a matter of time.

  38. 38
    gene108 says:


    There are some things that we’ve won where we’ve shifted the culture enough that it would be very, very difficult for anyone to mount a challenge. Loving v Virginia was less than 50 years ago. No doubt there are still people who disapprove but they’ve mostly learned that they’ve lost that battle.

    The fact Clarence Thomas lives in the state of Virginia and is legally married to a white woman there, all because of “judicial activism” in the Loving v Virginia case really makes me want to smack him for his right-wing nuttery and especially his DOMA vote.

    The man’s benefited, both professionally and personally, from the 1950’s to 1970’s era of “liberal judicial activism” by the courts, but now feels like he needs to destroy the blocks that got him to where he is, so no one else can climb up.

  39. 39
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Baud: Man City against Hull was a very entertaining game

  40. 40
    Baud says:


    Pshaw. It was only because of Thomas’s own hard work, drive, and gumption that he was able to pull himself up by his bootstraps and have lawful marital sex with a white woman.

  41. 41
    Randy P says:

    @MikeJ: Employers used to commonly refuse to hire women on the grounds that they would just get married and quit, or they wanted to give the job to a man because he had a family to support.

    Heard something not quite that bad, but almost, in the late 90s. From a Unitarian church, who should know better. A long-time female assistant pastor, who was earning peanuts, left the position. Don’t know when her last raise was, if ever. Young male took the position fresh out of school, was immediately given a huge raise. The justification from people on the board: “He’s married, he has a family to support”.

    We win these cultural battles slowly. But we do win them.

    And it isn’t simply a matter of waiting for people to die out. Back in the70s I used to think that was the case. But many of the conservative bigots weren’t even born back then. The bigots keep hatching new ones.

  42. 42
    Shakezula says:

    Whether Scalia isn’t invited or turns down an invitation it will be proof that gays are the real bigots.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    People would throw cups at her. They would chant: ‘We don’t want a mountain deer. Bring us back our Mountaineer,’

    Heh. Probably Cole and his lax buddies.

    (And yes, Fall 1990; he was probably actually keeping his tank tuned up in the desert back then.)

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:

    I knew there was a shakeup in Premier League TV coverage this season, and whatever it was that happened I like it. NBC Sports is showing Cardiff City-Everton on the main channel but is also showing three other games on auxiliary (but HD!) channels. I’m for Newcastle United-Fulham.

    It’s all live coverage. Beats waiting for the tape-delayed showing after you have inevitably learned the final score.

  45. 45
    Jane2 says:

    @EconWatcher: Over half the states don’t have anti-discrimiation laws yet…gay rights isn’t quite a given.

  46. 46
    Baud says:


    Liberal intolerance for intolerance is intolerable.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Guess what returns this Tuesday?
    Yes………Idris/Tuesday/BBC AMERICA

  48. 48
    Poopyman says:

    Darksyde over at DKos links to this story:

    The world of mind-control zombie armies may have gotten just a little closer: Scientists say they’ve hooked up one person’s brain to the Internet, to control the finger of another person playing a video game.

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Randy P: My wife was given the same reason for why one of the inept men in her office needed a raise, but she didn’t, in, I think, 2002. I was in grad school, and she was supporting me, but that didn’t count for some reason. Pfft.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @eric: Florida’s AD made a huge mistake by not giving Charlie Strong the head coaching gig — first when they fired the awful Zook, then when Urban Meyer got the vapors and announced he was quitting. I don’t believe for a second they didn’t know something was in the works before Strong left for UL.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    “Mom, Seth made me kill that hobbit!”

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Poopyman: In an earlier experiment, one person’s brain was connected to the Internet and used to control the typing finger of several blog commenters. Scientists were surprised by the degree of success for “Project Greenwald.”

  53. 53
    NotMax says:


    “Show us on the doll where the person 3000 miles away touched you.”

  54. 54
    geg6 says:


    I was told, in 1998, that I didn’t need a raise (hadn’t had one in five years!) because my ex-opposite sex partner (not an ex at the time, of course) had a good job at a good salary, so I didn’t need one. Everyone else in my position was either a male or a married female with children. Because I was co-habiting with a guy who had a good job and we didn’t have children, I didn’t deserve a raise despite my 100% job ratings and stellar student evaluations.

  55. 55
    Thlayli says:


    The auxiliary channels are also streaming via the NBC Sports Live Extra app. Runs nice and smooth on my iPad.

  56. 56
    MomSense says:


    Countdown to Luther is on at my house. Re-watched some of season 1 and 2 with the older boys and we are planning to watch together.

    I now have two in college! One started last week and the other starts on Tuesday. Can’t believe it since I still feel about 20 myself. It’s a good thing I do have energy because I still have one in elementary school.

  57. 57
    MomSense says:

    @Randy P:

    Wow, yes the UU church should have known better. Even in the 90s that was clearly spelled out in the UU compensation guidelines.

  58. 58
    Baud says:


    That makes sense. Remember that one of the central tenants of our capitalist free market system is “to each according to his needs.”

  59. 59
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Poopyman: I think some people from last night just may get their wish of being able to reach through the Internet to slap a WaPo commentator silly.

  60. 60
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Back in the days when state employees in NC still got merit raises, there was one manager who ranked his people for merits thus: married men with children, married men without children, married women, single women, single men.

    His underlings got him fired for it.

  61. 61
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @MikeJ: The actual opinion shift on interracial marriage happened very slowly and mostly long after Loving v. Virginia.

    One of Gallup’s super-long-term, multi-decade opinion surveys (I know they’re not the greatest polling operation, but they’re just about the only one that has been able to do this) had a question where they asked people if they approved of white and black people marrying each other. When Loving happened it was a small minority. Approval only topped 50% sometime in the 1990s. Now I think it’s above 80%, but that movement all happened after 1995 or so.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: that ordering system would be hard to rationalize even for a paternalistic sexist.

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:


    Cool. Good to know.

    That said, the first half was a snoozefest.

  64. 64
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …and, by comparison to interracial marriage, the change in opinion on same-sex marriage has been lightning-fast, once it became something that was even within the realm of legal comprehensibility. It’s been less than ten years that it was legal anywhere in the US, a Loving-style decision making it legal everywhere still seems like a fantasy, and there’s already at least plurality, maybe a thin majority support nationally. That’s instantaneous.

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    We’ve raised two generations of Americans to view tolerance of “others” as a good thing.

    The hardcore bigots, who supported anti-miscegenation are / were a lot more committed to their beliefs that blacks were a stupid, lazy, and nefarious drain on society because they had generations of people before them believing it.

    When their kids started meeting blacks in school and all the media pressure was on about how you couldn’t publicly say “nigger” or talk about how stupid, lazy and nefarious blacks were anymore the generation to generation handing off of the bigotry baton slowed down and at the current time, their grand kids have become the most tolerant generation in U.S. history.

    The ground has been laid for people to be tolerant of the “other”, when it’s brought to their attention that people are treated differently because of sexual orientation.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    It’s not nice to laugh at someone’s possible demise(but I couldn’t help it!) but anyone with one of the finest legal minds of the 14th century should be dead by now of at least really old age. Or at least the senility that he obviously suffers from.

Comments are closed.