Scalia and Bader Ginsburg’s Friendship Bridged the Divide

Being on different political sides of the bench didn't stop this pair.

The conservative judge, who died Saturday from natural causes at age 79, and his liberal counterpart, 82, regularly wrote opposing decisions in some of the most high-profile cases of the past few decades, but that didn't stop the pair from becoming close friends.

Bonded by their New York City upbringing, Scalia and Ginsburg's friendship was so widely known that it became the basis of a comic opera, Scalia/Ginsburg. The production, which premiered at Virginia's Castleton Festival in July 2015, played upon their mutual appreciation for the art form, as well as their varying decisions.

Ginsburg even cited the opera in the statement she released following the news of Scalia's death.

"Toward the end of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, tenor Scalia and soprano Ginsburg sing a duet: 'We are different, we are one,' different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve," Ginsburg said.

"It was my great good fortune to have known him as working colleague and treasured friend," she added.

Ginsburg described she and Scalia as "best buddies," with their adventures expanding beyond the courtroom and the opera hall.

She reportedly kept a photo of she and Scalia riding an elephant during a trip to India in her chambers.

"That was a rather bumpy ride," Ginsburg said alongside Scalia at a talk at George Washington University in February 2015.

During that same talk, Scalia praised Ginsburg, with a speck of his legendary humor.

"You know, what's not to like," he said of his colleague. "Except her views on the law, of course."