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Martin Ginsburg explained the result this way: “As a general rule,” he said in 1997, “my wife does not give me any advice about cooking, and I do not give her any advice about the law. This seems to work quite well on both sides.”

His wife’s biggest booster, he enthusiastically took on the role of Supreme Court spouse after President Bill Clinton appointed her to the court in 1993, making her the second female justice. He was a regular participant in lunches held by the justices’ spouses, and interspersed throughout the 126-page cookbook are their remembrances. For example, Maureen Scalia, wife of Justice Antonin Scalia, remembers Ginsburg volunteering to make fresh bread for an event when he learned she planned to use store-bought.

The Supreme Court gift shop began selling the cookbook in early December, and the Supreme Court Historical Society’s website also sells it. The first printing sold out and another is under way. Profits from the book, which costs $24.95, go to the society to support programs and scholarship on the court.

Ginsburg said she hasn’t tried to make any of her husband’s recipes and hasn’t taken up cooking since his death. Their daughter, who inherited her father’s love of cooking, visits once a month to fill the justice’s freezer with dishes.

Ginsburg said she never understood her husband’s delight at spending hours in the kitchen.

“I could spend hours writing an opinion. But when it’s done it’s there on paper, and I can see it again,” she said. “What Marty made was consumed too quickly, but he didn’t regard it that way.”


Jessica Gresko can be reached at