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When the world seems lousy, remember that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a Dissenting Collar

In an interview for Yahoo News, Katie Couric took a tour of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s closet and checked out her lacy collars, and I’m cool with that.

In fact, Ginsburg does have a collection of jabots (collars) she wears to spice up her boring, black judicial robes (as one does). She has everyday jabots, a Majority Opinion jabot (crocheted yellow and cream with crystals) for those times when she’s announcing a majority opinion in court, and a blue and white one for sleeping one off during the Statue of the Union address.

Her awesomest jabot of all, of course, is her Dissenting Collar, which is black with gold embroidery and faceted stones and, as Ginsburg told Couric, “looks fitting for dissent.”

Now, normally, I’d be kind of pissed about an interviewer asking a highly accomplished, respected professional woman about her accessories — it falls alongside “how do you balance your children and your work life?” and “how do you stay so fit?” on the list of Questions No One Has Ever Asked Samuel Alito.

But this is a woman who not only collects collars to spice up her robes but assigns them different roles in her everyday life, so it can be argued that, like Madeleine Albright’s lapel pins, this isn’t so much an issue of those women and their accessories, amiright? as of a respected public figure showing off a part of her life that’s obviously meaningful to her. Plus, I like the idea that despite the pressure placed on women in “men’s fields” — particularly fields like law — to remain as undecorated as humanly possible to avoid looking frivolous or giiiiirly, she’s comfortable throwing major jewelry on top of her robe because screw you, I’m Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I’ve got a hand-embroidered Ass-Whuppin’ jabot in my closet just waiting for you.

And I like the idea that when she was delivering this opinion:

The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would override significant interests of the corporations’ employees and covered dependents. It would deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ belief access to contraceptive coverage that the ACA would otherwise secure. … In sum, with respect to free exercise claims no less than free speech claims, “[y]our right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.”


Importantly, the decisions whether to claim benefits under the plans are made not by Hobby Lobby or Conestoga, but by the covered employees and dependents, in consultation with their health care providers. … Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults.

Even if one were to conclude that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga meet the substantial burden requirement, the Government has shown that the contraceptive coverage for which the ACA provides furthers compelling interests in public health and women’s well being. Those interests are concrete, specific, and demonstrated by a wealth of empirical evidence.


Today’s cases, the Court concludes, are “concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decisions should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fail if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.” … But the Court has assumed, for RFRA purposes, that the interest in women’s health and well being is compelling and has come up with no means adequate to serve that interest, the one motivating Congress to adopt the Women’s Health Amendment.

she was probably wearing a collar that looks like something Sif would wear during a party scene in a Thor movie.

(Justice Ginsburg also, she says, has a collection of Notorious RGB t-shirts, which I’m assuming she’s wearing under her robe while she’s wearing her Dissenting Collar on top.)

4 thoughts on When the world seems lousy, remember that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a Dissenting Collar

  1. Now I kind of want to read the same article about other figures in our government. Does Obama have a Veto tie or a Law-Signing tie?

  2. It would be nice if this article could have a picture of Justice Ginsburg actually WEARING the Dissenting Collar in question.

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