Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the five justices comprising the pro-abortion majority on the nation’s highest court, says she will not retire anytime soon.
With the high court at what most political observers say is a narrow 5-4 majority favoring abortion, pro-life advocates need to replace one pro-abortion justice with someone who will respect the rule of law in order to overturn Roe v. Wade and have any hope of protecting women and unborn children under law from abortions.
But Gingsburg said in a public forum last night that she has no plans to retire from the court before the 2012 presidential elections — where pro-life advocates will be working furiously to replace pro-abortion President Barack Obama with a pro-life president. Gingsburg also has no plans to retire before the 2016 elections, either.
CNS News indicates the comments came up during a forum NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg moderated at George Washington University in Washington.
“I am constantly asked, ‘Is Justice Ginsburg going to retire soon?’” Totenberg asked. “So, I will ask you that. Do you have any plans for your retirement?”
Ginsburg responded: “I will give the answer that I just gave to you, Nina, a few moments ago. One of the nice perks about this job is that we get to choose paintings from the storage supply of the National Gallery, the Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn.”
“I had a wonderful painting from the Museum of American Art by Josef Albers,” Ginsburg said, according to CNS. “It was taken away for a traveling exhibition and I’m told that it will come back to me sometime in 2012. So I am certainly not going to retire before I get my Albers back. Another answer I can give you is I was appointed at age 60, the same age that Louis Bidenz Brandeis was when he was appointed the court. He stayed until he was 83. So I do have a way to go.”
Ginsburg will not reach the age of 83 until March 2016 but decision to stay on the court at least through the next two presidential elections could be exacerbated by health issues she faces, as she recently underwent chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer and her husband passed away recently after dealing with his own cancer issues.
Last year, Ginsburg said she was confident the Supreme Court will never overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that resulted in unlimited abortions in the United States. She said doing so would hurt poor people who supposedly have no other resource during an unplanned pregnancy. Participating in a discussion during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Ginsburg said the infamous decision that allowed more than 53 million abortions won’t be overturned because women and society have gotten used to it.
“Over a generation of young women have grown up, understanding they can control their own reproductive capacity, and in fact their life’s destiny,” Ginsburg said, according to a Politico report. “We will never go back to the way it once was.”
“If people realize that, maybe they will have a different attitude,” she said of supposed reasons why poor women need abortions.
Ginsburg’s comments on abortion and its availability for poor women were not surprising given how she was taken to task in 2009 for her comments about the Roe v. Wade abortion case that appeared racist.
In a July 2009 interview with the New York Times, Ginsburg said she once supported Roe for population control reasons targeting minorities. Ginsburg first advocated taxpayer funding of abortions and followed it up by saying she backs Roe to eliminate “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
“Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious,” she says.
Reporter Emily Bazelon then asked Ginsburg a question about what she meant and Ginsburg responded that she referred to the 1980 Harris v. McRae ruling upholding the Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortions, surprised her.
“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong,” Ginsburg said.
Roe is the 1973 Supreme Court decision that, along with Doe v. Bolton, allowed virtually unlimited abortions for any reason throughout pregnancy.