In the News: What Happens When you Call a Supreme Court Justice by the Wrong Name?

In May 2014, former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted of corruption by a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. In their case, federal prosecutors uncovered what they call a scheme to sell the office of governor for $177,000 by way of gifts from a dietary supplement executive.[1] Noel Francisco, the McDonnell’s attorney, appeared in front of the United States Supreme Court on April 27, 2014, to appeal the jury’s finding.

When answering a question from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Francisco responded:

“There are lots of other statutes that would prohibit precisely what you are suggesting, Justice O’Connor, and you don’t have to interpret …”

Justice Ginsburg interrupted Francisco:

“That hasn’t happened in quite some time.”

There was laughter in the courtroom. [2]

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female appointed to the Supreme Court, retired in from the bench in 2006.

Interested in more learning more about Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sandra Day O’Connor? Try:

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Conner and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman.






By: Chelsea Bissell and Arie Mielkus



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