Politics

It Looks Like Justice Ginsburg Plans On Sticking Around

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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It looks like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon.

Above the Law, a full service legal affairs outfit oscillating between comprehensive industry journal and commentary site, published the full list of “the Elect,” the lawyers selected to serve as law clerks to the justices in the coming terms.

“Notorious RBG” has hired clerks to staff her chambers through the end of the 2018 term, indicating she at least plans to serve well into the next presidency. (RELATED: Justice Ginsburg Hints Hillary Will Be POTUS, Shutters At Trump)

Ginsburg, 83, has flirted with serious medical impairment. She fought off colon cancer in 1999 through an aggressive regiment of chemotherapy and radiation sessions, and battled pancreatic cancer in 2009. A stent was also placed in her right coronary artery in 2014. She maintains a robust schedule, however, traveling extensively when the Court is not sitting and working out with a trainer twice a week at the Supreme Court’s gym.

The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes points out Ginsburg has every reason to stick around. Should Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton prevail in November, an ideological liberal will succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, consolidating a five-justice liberal majority on the court over which Ginsburg could have significant influence.

When the justices gather to vote on a case, the chief justice usually selects which justice will author the opinion. If the chief is in the minority, however, the most senior justice in the majority picks who will write the ruling. In a case that splits 5-4 along ideological lines, Ginsburg would most likely assign the opinion, as she is the most senior liberal justice.

Some liberal legal commentators have been anxious for her retirement, fearing a Republican Senate majority would stump a Democratic president’s quest to replace her with a liberal of equal ideological integrity. Should Democrats retain the White House and retake the Senate this year, as many commentators expect, Ginsburg’s obstinance will be vindicated.

She’s also pointed out that Justice John Paul Stevens served until he was 90.

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