Now that a Supreme Court justice has issued a ruling, is the great debate over?

Jillian Kramer
March 22, 2018

On last night’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the comedian pumped iron with the Notorious RBG—Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But before the duo hit the iron, they touched upon what Colbert teased is one of “the most divisive issues in our country,” whether a hot dog is, in fact, really a sandwich.

Is a hot dog a sandwich?” Colbert asks Bader Ginsburg, to which she quickly replies, “you tell me what a sandwich is and then I’ll tell you if a hot dog is a sandwich.”

Colbert tells Bader Ginsburg that a sandwich is “two pieces of bread with almost any type of filling in between—as long as it’s not more bread.” But the justice isn’t quite satisfied with that definition. She presses him: “You said two pieces of bread,” Bader Ginsburg repeats. “Does that include a roll that’s cut open but still not completely?”

And that, Colbert tells her, is the heart of this great debate. “This is why you’re in the Supreme Court,” Colbert tells her. “That gets immediately to the question: does the roll need to be separated into two parts?” He points out that a sub sandwich is, as its name implies, a sandwich—and yet, in the case of a sub, the bread is not split apart.

“So then, a hot dog is also a sandwich?” Colbert asks Bader Ginsburg again. And here, the Notorious RBG lays down her decision: “On your definition, yes it is,” she says.

There you have it: a hot dog is, in fact, a sandwich—at least according to one of the most nimble and intelligent minds in our nation. So perhaps now we can all move on and start enjoying these sandwiches once again.