WASHINGTON — A childhood lark has forced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from an upcoming case before the Supreme Court.
The case, California Citrus Growers Association v. The Kroger Co., involves the accusations over the manipulation of citrus prices between farmers and retailers. The pressure for recusal was brought to bear by the California Citrus Growers Association (CCGA).
In 1940, a seven-year-old Justice Ginsburg opened a lemonade stand on her block in Brooklyn, New York. While the business was by all accounts successful, it lasted for only a weekend and had sales totaling $1.25 (approx. $20.00 in today’s currency) . The CCGA insists that, by opening a retail establishment, the Justice took an active role in the very relationship brought to issue in the case and would have undue bias towards other retailers like The Kroger Co.
The case, which is on appeal from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, could determine hundreds of millions of dollars in future prices for everything from table oranges to lemonade. A spokeswoman for the CCGA noted that, “As families and companies growing popular items such as oranges and lemons in the Central Valley, we want to ensure that justice is served in this great nation of ours.”
Although Justice Ginsburg herself has avoided making any public comment regarding the case or her recusal, sources close to the Court note that she was initially incredulous over CCGA’s pressure. The source, who asked not to be named due to his close relationship to the Justices, quickly tempered her rage by scheduling a day at the spa on the day oral arguments are scheduled to be heard in the case. He noted “That’s our [Justice Ginsburg], always turning lemons into lemonade!”