Liberals are eager for 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to hang up her hat. Not because they don’t treasure her role as one of the Court’s most outspoken liberals, but because they want to make sure a Democrat is still in the White House when she retires. If Ginsburg were to retire (or, let’s face it, die) with a Republican in office, it could mean a big shift in the political makeup of the nation’s highest court.
Nonetheless, says Ginsburg, she’s not going anywhere. She told Elle magazine that she feared Obama wouldn’t be able to get a liberal justice through the Senate right now. “Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have?” she asked. Gee, someone willing to view the law through the Constitutional guidelines set forth by our Founding Fathers? Would it be that much of a tragedy if – gasp – someone a little more moderate took your place, Ruth?
While that was the headline-making portion of Ginsburg’s interview, the more interesting parts were centered around her disappointment with recent “conservative” rulings. Calling out the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby in particular, she said people wouldn’t understand the ruling in another 50 years. Well no, not with justices like you sitting the bench, they won’t. That sounds like just the right amount of time for liberals in the media, Capitol Hill, and the Supreme Court to push this country irretrievably to the left.
What is it that these people don’t understand? Do they think the United States was born to be this nambly-pambly, everyone’s-a-winner liberal LoonyLand? Do they think that’s how we got to be the greatest nation in the world? It boggles the mind sometimes how ignorant these people are to history. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no dummy, but the lens through which she views her country is fuzzy at best.
As for Ginsburg’s opinion that the court has shifted to the right, it’s one she shares with quite a few liberals. The facts just aren’t there. Yes, the Supreme Court came down with some terrific rulings this year, but that’s not as common as she makes it seem. Rulings on Obamacare, Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration laws, and the Defense of Marriage Act have shown the court to be fair to both sides. That’s as it should be. When anyone can look at the rulings of the court and say they come down on one political side or the other most of the time, then the time has come for some big changes.
The current law of the land allows Supreme Court Justices to set up camp behind the bench for as long as they care to keep their jobs. It’s designed that way to keep some measure of consistency and political neutrality in the court. But the first five Justices served an average of 9 years. The five most recently-retired Justices served an average of 25 years. That might be a hair too long.
But by all means, Justice Ginsburg, keep your job. Unlike you, I have far too little confidence in Senate Democrats to believe that they wouldn’t happily rubber-stamp the next Sotomayor.