From the “Don’t You Threaten Us” files, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this week that she was hoping to stay on the nation’s high court for another five years, health permitting.
“I’m now 85,” Ginsburg said on Sunday. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have at least five more years.”
Ginsburg was in New York to attend a play called “The Originalist” about the late Antonin Scalia.
“If I had my choice of dissenters when I was writing for the court, it would be Justice Scalia,” she said. “Sometimes it was like a ping-pong game.”
Asked if Supreme Court judges should be restricted with term limits, Ginsburg said it was out of the question.
“You can’t set term limits, because to do that you’d have to amend the Constitution,” she said. “Article 3 says we hold our offices during good behavior. And most judges are very well behaved.”
Ginsburg’s behavior, however, has come under scrutiny in the last couple of years. In the summer of 2016, she broke with Supreme Court precedent by weighing in publicly with her opinions of the impending race and the newly-crowned Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
“He is a faker,” she said at the time. “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.”
Later that summer, when asked by the Associated Press what might happen to the court should Trump win the presidency, Ginsburg said: “I don’t want to think about that possibility.”
She was even more blunt in an interview with The New York Times in July 2016.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imagine what the country would be – with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
These remarks have led many to suggest that Ginsburg should recuse herself from any cases involving the president or his administration, but she has taken no steps towards doing so. Predictably, her votes have been nearly unanimous against the administration on all cases. Then again, the same can be said for her fellow liberals on the court.