Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signaled on Sunday that she is looking to remain on the bench for at least another five years.
“I’m now 85,” Ginsburg said, according to CNN. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”
Ginsburg made the remarks following a production in New York City of “The Originalist,” a play about her friend, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“If I had my choice of dissenters when I was writing for the court, it would be Justice Scalia,” she told the play’s director Molly Smith during a Q&A, saying that the back and forth would help her form her arguments. “Sometimes it was like a ping-pong game.”
Asked what keeps her hopeful, Ginsburg replied, “My dear spouse would say that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle — it is the pendulum. And when it goes very far in one direction you can count on its swinging back.”
The justice made the unusual move of taking sides in the 2016 presidential race with very public and negative statements to the press about then-candidate Donald Trump.
She told CNN in July 2016 that Trump is a “faker,” adding, “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
Ginsburg appeared very confident that Hillary Clinton would win when asked about the next president making appointments to the Supreme Court.
“She is bound to have a few appointments in her term,” the justice said.
Ginsburg’s remarks caught the attention of Trump, who issued one of his famous tweets in response, writing, “Her mind is shot.”
Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2016
“I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly,” he told The Times. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”
Ginsburg’s statements earned her the rebuke of The Times’ editorial board, which headlined an Op-Ed “Donald Trump Is Right About Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Others in the media, and reportedly fellow justices on the Supreme Court, also found her comments inappropriate.
A day after The Times’ Op-Ed, Ginsburg retracted her “ill-advised” remarks about Trump, writing, “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. … In the future I will be more circumspect.”
Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, has survived both colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009 and is believed to be in good health, The Washington Post reported.
The justice has hired law clerks through 2020, indicating she has every intention of hanging around.
Ginsburg is already five years past the average retirement age of the last 11 justices, and three years older than Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement in June.
Court watchers, like Jonathan Turley, believe that Ginsburg fully expected Clinton to appoint her replacement, and resisted calls to retire during Obama’s terms. Now she faces the possibility that a conservative may well replace her on the court, appointed by Trump.
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