President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address on Feb. 5 — which, for the weeks leading up to it, is a sentence I wasn't sure I'd get to say. But now that it's happened the focus can be shifted to the speech itself, or, maybe more importantly, to who showed up. In the past, some or all of the Supreme Court justices have shown up at the sitting president's State of the Union, but is Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the 2019 State of the Union? It appears that the Notorious RBG wasn't among the justices at Tuesday's event, according to CNN.
Leading up to the 2019 State of the Union, it was unclear whether Ginsburg would attend the address, given that towards the end of 2018 Ginsburg faced a series of health issues. First, she fell in her Supreme Court office in November and fractured three ribs. Then in December, she underwent surgery to remove some malignant modules from her left lung. Following all her health issues, Ginsburg was back at work at the end of last year — but then in January, she missed Supreme Court arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the bench, according to The New York Times.
Even aside from her health troubles, it's not surprising that Ginsburg isn't at Trump's State of the Union because she wasn't at his last one. On Jan. 30, 2018, Ginsburg was speaking at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island while Trump was delivering his first State of the Union, according to NBC News. Ginsburg had made arrangements to speak at the school in late August of 2017, and the State of the Union date wasn't announced until late November, so it was a bit of a scheduling conflict.
Scheduling conflict or not, Ginsburg and Trump haven't had the best relationship. Even before Trump took his seat in the Oval Office, Ginsburg was not on the Trump train. In July 2016, the Supreme Court justice told CNN that Trump "really has an ego." That same month, she also told The New York Times she couldn't "imagine" what would happen to the country with Trump as its leader. She said,
I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.
In response to Ginsburg's comments, Trump sent out a July 12 tweet saying Ginsburg's "mind is shot," and called for her resignation. He wrote,
Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot - resign!
Given Trump and Ginsburg's history, I can't say that I'm shocked the country didn't see a Notorious RBG cameo at the State of the Union this year.