Pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she has no plans to retire or step down from her position on the highest court despite the fact that she is 84 years old and dealing with health issues.
Ginsburg apparently intends to keep her seat on the Supreme Court for years to come probably because president Donald Trump has not someone she wants to appoint her successor.
The eldest Supreme Court justice has produced two of the court’s four signed opinions so far this term. Outside court, she’s the subject of a new documentary that includes video of her working out. And she’s hired law clerks to take her through June 2020, just four months before the next presidential election.
Soaking in her late-in-life emergence as a liberal icon, she’s using the court’s monthlong break to embark on a speaking tour that is taking her from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to law schools and synagogues on the East Coast. One talk will have her in Rhode Island on Tuesday, meaning she won’t attend the president’s State of the Union speech that night in Washington.
She has a standard response for interviewers who ask how long she intends to serve. She will stay as long as she can go “full steam,” she says, and she sees as her model John Paul Stevens, who stepped down as a justice in 2010 at age 90.
When her husband, Martin Ginsburg, died in 2010, Ginsburg said she did not think much about stepping down. If anything, since Stevens’ retirement, she has become more outspoken and visible as the leader of the court’s liberal wing.
Ginsburg’s decision to stay on past Obama’s time in the White House upset progressives because they feared — and conservatives now hope — a more conservative justice might replace her.
“The assumption was she can’t go till she’s 87, but maybe she will,” said Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice.
As of last year, Ginsburg said she was upset President Trump became president due to the votes of “sexist” people.
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In 2016, she was one of the five justices who sided with abortion activists in the 2016 decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down Texas abortion clinic regulations.
In a rare interview with the New York Times in 2016, Ginsburg said laws should not deny a woman “her right to choose” to abort her unborn baby. She and four other justices ruled that these safety regulations were an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion.
She also sided with the Obama Administration in trying to force nuns with the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for drugs that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans.
After a majority of the high court justices sided with Hobby Lobby in a similar case, Ginsburg accused them of being sexist. In an interview with pro-abortion media icon Katie Couric, Ginsburg lashed out at her colleagues and claimed they have a “blind spot” toward women.