The untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia left a frightening hole in the Supreme Court that led to a partisan struggle for months. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to do his job and hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, so the country ended up with a reality TV game show host filling one of the most important positions in government.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 84, told NPR’s Mark Sherman during an interview on Saturday that, while speculation has run rampant about her impending retirement due to her advanced age, she has absolutely no intention of stepping away any time soon. When asked the question she hears so often, Ginsburg was quick to respond.
‘My answer is as long as I can do the job full steam, I will do it…I used to have an answer, it worked for a lot of years. It was Justice Brandeis, when he was appointed he was the same age as I was, 60. And he stayed for 23 years, so I expect to stay at least as long. Well, now I’ve passed Brandeis, I’ve passed Frankfurter.’
Ginsburg began serving on the Supreme Court in 1993 when she nominated by President Bill Clinton, and had previously served on the U.S. Court of Appeals since being nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Her fireball personality and intelligent defense of progressive policies has made her a liberal icon and feminist role model throughout her tenure on the SCOTUS.
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Remaining to outlast Donald Trump would foil his reported plans to replace nearly half of the Supreme Court, which he has reportedly bragged about doing to friends and advisers. Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch soon after being elected due to the unfilled seat held for Trump by Sen. McConnell. He has told other that he believes he will also be able to replace Ginsburg (“What does she weigh? Sixty pounds?”), Sonia Sotomayor (Her health. No good. Diabetes.”), Anthony Kennedy (who is rumored to be considering retirement). Four SCOTUS seats filled by Donald Trump would be a frightening thought for most of the country.
Ginsburg seems to be the perfet woman to spoil Trump’s dream.
For audio of the full interview, see below: