Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is skipping President Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee felt the need to explain why in the form of a tasteless Twitter joke

By Tierney McAfee
January 29, 2018 03:00 PM
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty; Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is skipping President Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee felt the need to explain why in the form of a tasteless Twitter joke.

On Sunday, the Republican tweeted a photo of the infamous moment when Ginsburg nodded off during former President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in 2015.

“It’s not fair that ppl are criticizing Justice Ginsberg for skipping SOTU! Security concerns wouldn’t allow her to bring CPAP machine into House Chamber,” Huckabee joked, referring to a device called a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which assists people with conditions like sleep apnea.

The 84-year-old Supreme Court justice has actually attributed her SOTU snooze to the fact that she wasn’t “100 percent sober.” “I vowed this year just sparkling water — stay away from the wine — but the dinner was so delicious it needed wine,” Ginsburg explained in 2015, speaking about a dinner party some justices attended ahead of the speech.

RELATED VIDEO: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Joins the #MeToo Movement with Story of Her Own Sexual Harassment

Huckabee’s latest attempt at humor earned him an earful of criticism on Twitter, including from former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub — who asked simply: “What is the matter with you?” — and former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren — who called on Huckabee to apologize.

And Bess Kalb, an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, once again gave Huckabee notes on how his joke-writing is falling short.

For the record, Ginsburg is skipping Trump’s SOTU address on Tuesday evening to give a talk of her own in Rhode Island, as part of her nationwide tour during the Supreme Court’s monthlong break, the Associated Press reported. Ginsberg has clashed with Trump in the past, however. After she slammed Trump as an egotistical “faker” last year, he retaliated with a tweet calling for Ginsburg’s resignation and saying her “mind is shot.”

It is relatively common for Supreme Court justices to skip the State of the Union, according to TIME. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito did not attend President Barack Obama’s 2015 address, nor did Justice Antonin Scalia, though he stopped attending the speeches altogether in 1997, calling the event a “childish spectacle.”