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How Paula Jones ruined the Supreme Court’s dinner plans

When President Bill Clinton was in office, he hoped to start a tradition: sitting down regularly with the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

But it never happened. According to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, something came up.

“He was hit first with Paula Jones and then other things,” Ginsburg told a crowd of about 2,000 at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas Monday, according to the Associated Press.

In her remarks, Ginsburg also lamented the polarization of the Supreme Court confirmation process, saying that she doubts she would have been confirmed if she were nominated today.

“I wish we could wave a magic wand and go back to the days when the process was bipartisan,” Ginsburg told the crowd, adding: “Today, my ACLU connection would probably disqualify me.”

Prior to her appointment as a federal judge on the DC Circuit, Ginsburg was general counsel for the ACLU, and helped found the group’s Women’s Right Project. Such a resume item would prove too controversial to win confirmation today, Ginsburg said. Even in 1993, White House officials prepping her for her Senate hearings warned her it would be a hot-button topic.

She told them: “There’s nothing you can do to get me to bad mouth the ACLU.”

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