Ginsburg offers praise for … Neil Gorsuch?

posted at 10:41 am on February 24, 2017 by Ed Morrissey

If a few kind words about a passing encounter could be considered significant, then yeah, the doyenne of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court praised the next justice. In reality, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered nothing more than a few personal bon mots about Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee to join the panel. Despite the attempts late yesterday to spin this as something more significant, Ginsburg got a few laughs from how insubstantial her observations on Gorsuch are:

As for the new Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Ginsburg didn’t have much to say.

“I know him I’ve worked with him. And I think he’s very easy to get along with. He writes very well,” she said to laughter from the crowd.

That’s not “damning with faint praise,” but it’s still faint praise nonetheless.

More interestingly, Ginsburg poked back at those on the Left who demanded her retirement before Obama left office. She has no intention of retiring any time soon, Ginsburg told the George Washington University crowd, no matter which side wants it:

She also said that she has no second thoughts on her decision not to retire during the Obama administration in order to ensure a liberal justice could be appointed.

“I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam. And when I can’t, that will be the time to step down,” she said. …

Ginsburg pointed out that she is almost 84 but said that she’s here to stay as well. She credited her personal trainer for her longevity, who keeps her fit with an exercise routine of planks and push-ups.

In other words, Ted Cruz’s big prediction yesterday at CPAC isn’t, as Allahpundit deduced, in reference to Ginsburg. She’s doing everything she can to keep fit enough to stay on the court, and she may never want to retire quietly from what is the apex of any judicial career. There has been plenty of speculation that Trump would get to nominate more than two justices during his first term, but Ginsburg isn’t going to just give Trump her seat to fill. As her interaction at GWU demonstrates, she still enjoys the job and the attention.

Gorsuch did pick up an endorsement this week — one of the more interesting if obscure endorsements so far:

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on Wednesday announced their endorsement of President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.

In a press release, tribal spokesman Robert McDonald said, “President Trump has nominated a judge who understands Indian law and the needs of Indian Country.”

That’s an interesting angle on Gorsuch, but not the only one. In the same statement, the tribes thank both Montana Senators for their work in the confirmation process — Republican Steve Daines for his “leadership role” in it, and Democrat Jon Tester for his “diligence.” Tester has to run again in Montana next year, a state that went for Trump last year. Perhaps he’s hinting at a yes vote on Gorsuch back home? He’s already called for a “fair hearing,” and “a fair shake.”


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