Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" being sung by a Supreme Court justice after their historic ruling on same sex marriage seems like something out of a musical -- cue dancers and a choir and you've got the Bob version of Across the Universe.
But according to a recent Washington Post interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that's exactly what happened when one of the court's most conservative judges put own the pen on his dissent against legalizing gay marriage. Ginsburg confirmed to the publication that Antonin Scalia broke into the Dylan track after the court made the landmark ruling.
Antonin's "Bob moment" is just one of the ways music has been intertwined with the nation's highest court lately. A new opera set to premiere this month at the Castleton Festival in Virginia will put court opinions written by the two justices to music in Scalia/Ginsburg. The work will feature a musical interpretation of some of the most impactful words in American judicial history.
While Ginsburg was immediately on board with the project and even "enthusiastic," Scalia was a bit more hesitant be associated with the work. Ultimately, he conceded that even if it wasn't Dylan writing the score, it was composer Derrick Wang's "First Amendment right" go forward with the project.
Ruth, on the other hand, sees Scalia/Ginsburg as a potentially eye-opening view of what goes on behind the sealed chamber of the Supreme Court. Ruth said that unlike Congress, the SC is still a body that worked together in harmony, using differences to sharpen conclusions.
"What it says is what we have in common. That we revere the court and we want to do our best and leave it in a good state. You might get the impression that there's a great deal of tension on the court, but we all generally like each other... I just hope people will have a good time and that they get a better understanding about the court and how well we work together. We're not like Congress at the moment. So divided there's no conversation possible. That's the message that you get at the end of it."Even though Scalia and Ginsburg are friends in real life, their supporters are generally on opposite sides of the fence. Ruth, who is an icon for much of the feminist community, was asked by friends how she allowed Antonin's name to come ahead of her own in the opera's title.
"I said, 'In this shop, seniority really counts.' Even though I'm two years older than Nino, he was appointed in the '80s and I was appointed in 1993. He is senior, and he goes first."Who would do a better cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times Are A-Changin'": Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Antonin Scalia?
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]