If there is any tension among Supreme Court justices as they tackle the tough pending cases of their current term, it was nowhere to be seen Wednesday afternoon at the court's spring musicale.
As they have off and on since 1988, justices took time off for an afternoon to bask in top-notch musical performances by internationally known artists in the court's East Conference Room. Usually, the talent is drawn from the classical and operatic world. But the justices have also heard memorable jazz and cabaret-style performances by the likes of Bobby Short and Marian McPartland.
Wednesday's performance may have topped them all, with renowned cabaret and concert singer Barbara Cook making an appearance, backed up by famed jazz sidemen including guitarist John Pizzarelli. Pizzarelli's wife Jessica Molaskey was the warm-up singer before Cook performed. In introducing the ensemble, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Pizzarelli "incomparably cool." Ginsburg, perhaps the court's greatest music fan ever, has presided over the musicales since 2002, taking over from Sandra Day O'Connor who had picked up after the departure of the tradition's founder, Justice Harry Blackmun.