Justice Ginsburg Praises Kavanaugh For All-Female Staff

'A very important first on the Supreme Court'

July 3, 2019

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised Justice Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday for his historic all-female staff of law clerks.

At a panel hosted by Georgetown Law's Supreme Court Institute, Ginsburg gave credit to a justice with whom she often disagrees for bringing about "a very important first on the Supreme Court."

"It's thanks to our new justice, Justice Kavanaugh." Ginsburg said. "Whose entire staff are all women, all of his law clerks are women. And with his four women as law clerks, it's the first time in the history of the United States that there have been more women clerking at the court than men."

Ginsburg's remarks were met with applause by the panel's audience.

Justice Ginsburg has commended Justice Kavanaugh for his hiring practices before. Just last month, Ginsburg spoke about Kavanaugh's all-female staff before a conference in New York.

In the midst of his heated confirmation proceedings in 2018, while facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, Kavanaugh committed to hiring an all-female staff if confirmed to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has held true to his promise, creating the peculiar situation in which the nominee fervently accused of misogyny has adopted hiring practices more favorable to women than have his liberal colleagues on the court.

Ginsburg has drawn scrutiny in the past for the makeup of her own staff. She was questioned about the lack of diversity among her employees as a federal judge (she hired no African-American clerks or interns) during her confirmation process in 1993. After Kavanaugh's confirmation, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Ginsburg's hiring practices as a Supreme Court Justice, and arguing that Kavanaugh had the stronger record in assembling a diverse staff.