RBG on Retiring Early: “I wonder if Sandra regrets stepping down when she did?”

July 4th, 2013

Joan Biskupic continues to score amazing exclusives with the Justices. Her recent report has some great quotes from RBG, who has no intent on retiring.

In her interview, Ginsburg referred to past liberal commentary and predicted, “That’s going to start up again.”

Brushing off political calculations, she said, “It really has to be, ‘Am I equipped to do the job?’ … I was so pleased that this year I couldn’t see that I was slipping in any respect.” She said she remains energized by her work as the senior liberal, a position she has held since 2010 when Justice John Paul Stevens retired, and calls being a justice “the best job in the world for a lawyer.”

No, she’s not slipping in the least. Liberals who continuously clamor for her to step down should take heed that she is the only Justice who dissented in NFIB (in its entirety) and Fisher. Breyer and Kagan seem to be moderate liberals. Sotomayor, I don’t yet have a feel for.

She has previously said she wanted her tenure to at least match the nearly 23 years of Justice Louis Brandeis, which would get her to April 2016, and said she had a new “model” in Justice Stevens, who retired at age 90 after nearly 35 years on the bench.

Justice Ginsburg is now 80. If she goes till 90, another decade, that would put her retirement in 2023! That’s two more presidential elections away. If she goes for 35 years on the bench, that would put her retirement  in 2026 at the age of 93, after three more presidential elections! Till 120 RBG.

Her most interesting comment concerned Justice O’Connor.

“I wonder if Sandra regrets stepping down when she did?”

I would add Justice Stevens to that list, who almost certainly has regrets about stepping down.

I don’t see RBG going anywhere anytime soon. Which means we will see the same retirement meme pop up every year for another decade. I can imagine Breyer retiring first.

She did poke some fun at Alito’s eye-rolling:

Ginsburg said she was oblivious, and only learned of his behavior from her law clerks. When she read another dissenting statement from the bench the next day, “he did not make any faces.”

Was she insulted? Her answer appeared to allude to Alito’s nationally televised grimace and mouthing of “Not true” in response to comments Obama made in his 2010 State of the Union speech about a court campaign-finance ruling.

“I’m in such good company,” said Ginsburg. “I’m in the company of the president.”