Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has emerged as the leading liberal voice on the US Supreme Court. At age 81, she is also the oldest justice. She gave an interview to the magazine Elle in which she discussed, among other things, why those who have been publicly urging her to retire while president Obama is still in office so that he can appoint someone else in her mold are misguided and that she has no plans to retire.
“Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have? If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. [The Senate Democrats] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court. So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided. As long as I can do the job full steam…. I think I’ll recognize when the time comes that I can’t any longer. But now I can.”
I think she is right.
She suggests that the reason that there has not been great outrage at the encroachments on the right to abortion is because of the class nature of the issue, though she does not use the word ‘class’ which tends to be avoided in elite circles.
“I think on the issue of choice, one of the reasons, to be frank, that there’s not so much pro-choice activity is that young women, including my daughter and my granddaughter, have grown up in a world where they know if they need an abortion, they can get it. Not that either one of them has had one, but it’s comforting to know if they need it, they can get it.
The impact of all these restrictions is on poor women, because women who have means, if their state doesn’t provide access, another state does. I think that the country will wake up and see that it can never go back to [abortions just] for women who can afford to travel to a neighboring state…”
She is optimistic that things will improve in the future, saying that she thinks the court has got as conservative as it can get and that in 50 years people will be baffled by things like the Hobby Lobby decision.
I hope she is right.