U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg always hugged President Barack Obama before his speeches to Congress. She doesn’t even plan to attend President Donald Trump’s first one.
Ginsburg, who called Trump a “faker” during his campaign, intends to skip Tuesday night’s speech, leaving it to five of her colleagues to represent the court.
Chief Justice John Roberts will join Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in attendance, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed. All are regulars at the annual event. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito aren’t planning to attend, continuing their past practice.
Alito hasn’t gone to a speech since 2010, the year Obama criticized the justices’ just-issued Citizens United campaign-finance ruling. Obama accused the court of ignoring a century of precedent, a claim that prompted Alito to shake his head and mouth “not true” as Democratic lawmakers directly behind the justices rose to cheer.
Thomas has gone sporadically over the years and hasn’t attended since Obama’s first speech in 2009. He said in 2010 the event had become so partisan that “it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there.”