It’s been discussed and debated for months in liberal circles — the question of whether 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire. Many Democrats says “yes,” that the far-left Ginsburg ought to step aside to let President Obama appoint another ultra-liberal to the highest court in the land.
Ginsburg herself has indicated she won’t go, no matter what progressives say. Now, in a new interview, Ginsburg lets it be known she has absolutely no intention of leaving the bench, because Obama wouldn’t be able to get the Senate to approve a suitable replacement.
“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] 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.”
Interestingly, that argument from the woman liberals praise as so smart, so savvy, so intellectually superior — that Ginsburg argument is now being criticized as not so smart, not so savvy, not so persuasive.
New York Magazine has just published a retort of sorts to Ginsburg’s no-retirement scenario, calling it “simply wrong,” and saying it “makes no sense.”
It is true that Republicans retain the right to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. They may use this power to restrain the president from nominating a particularly objectionable figure, as both parties have done in the past. But if they use it as a generalized blockade, stopping Obama from nominating any mainstream Democratic figure, then Senate Democrats would almost surely enact another rule change.
If Senate Democrats won’t sit still for Republicans using the filibuster to take away Obama’s right to appoint a federal judge, they surely wouldn’t sit still as Republicans prevent Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat — a far more high-profile fight, which would enrage Democratic donors.
So, it would seem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will remain as an Associate Justice, and stay at the center of a storm of debate about her tenure on the Supreme Court of the United States. But curiously, the controversy is kept at a rolling boil not by her critics but by her ideological supporters.
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