Ruth Bader Ginsburg blames wine for SOTU nap

Blame the wine. (Jason Reed/Reuters) Blame the wine. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

We figured back when we reported that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had nodded off during President Obama’s last State of the Union address that she had simply found the speech to be snooze-worthy.

But now we get the real story behind her SOTU nap, courtesy of our colleague Robert Barnes’ excellent profile of the justice. The sleep inducement wasn’t the president’s dulcet tones or less-than-compelling words — it was wine.

And this was no swill. It was a “very good California wine” that Justice Anthony Kennedy had brought to a dinner held before the big speech. A big dinner, a big Cabernet… well, that’s enough to make anyone drift off. (And although Kennedy, then, is somewhat responsible for her doze, he also helped her make it through without keeling over. We noticed during the president’s address that he and Justice David Breyer had wedged the somnolent Ginsburg between them to keep her upright.)

Who knew Supreme Court Justices pre-gamed the State of the Union?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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Al Kamen · October 4, 2013

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