What do the justices of the Supreme Court do for fun to unwind from presiding over all those cases? Well, they preside over more cases, of course! And by “more cases” we mean fake ones.
Frequently justices have been presiding over the trials of literary characters and long-dead historical figures such as Col. George Custer, Hamlet, Socrates, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon. The trials are usually fundraisers – and for the justices, they are a good time.
“When you’re reading all these briefs,” says Justice Ginsburg, pointing at a stack of legal filings in her chambers, “it’s nice to take time off and read something great or delightful,” Ginsburg told the Wall Street Journal‘s Jess Bravin.
Most recently, Justice Anthony Kennedy decided Hamlet’s fate. Next up: Justices Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor will preside over the appeal of Mrs. Cheveley from Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband.”
Unlike regular oral arguments, the events are usually held in the evening, after the participants dine – and wine – together.
“I have one, or maybe two, glasses of wine. That would be unthinkable at the real court,” says Justice Ginsburg.