WASHINGTON — Saying that she was terribly sorry, but that she had consumed a large iced tea before arriving at the court to hear oral arguments in the case of Ryder v. Minnesota (12-899), U.S. Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan recused herself to the restroom.
“With my bladder full, I am unable to sit today and listen to hours of oral arguments,” Justice Kagan said on Wednesday, squirming in her seat. “I must therefore recuse myself to the ladies’ room and abstain from voting on this case.”
“The cashier at that burger place Five Guys asked if I wanted a large cup,” she added. “And I said yes, and then without weighing the merits of my decision, I went back for a refill.”
This is the third time in the 2013-2014 session that a justice has abstained from a case due to a recusal. In November, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recused herself to the restroom after complaining for several hours about the fish tacos she had eaten. In February, Justice Clarence Thomas wordlessly recused himself to the men’s room, running so quickly down the hall that he knocked over a clerk, prompting witnesses to speculate that Thomas was suffering from a stomach virus that had been going around the court.