When it comes to the oldest justice currently serving on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the message has long since set in for liberals. Donald Trump is going to be in office for two or possibly six more years and for at least the next two, the GOP controls the Senate. How much longer will she remain on the bench? After her recent health scare (a fall resulting in some broken ribs), some alarmed Democrats are growing resentful that Ginsburg didn’t retire when Barack Obama was in office and she had the chance to give up her seat to a like-minded judge. At The Hill, Lydia Wheeler posts some observations from Washington University School of Law associate professor Daniel Epps. He sounds kind of angry.
“Given that she wants her vision of the law to prevail, it was a mistake to hang in there indefinitely,” said Daniel Epps, an associate professor of law at the Washington University School of Law. “If she stays for five more years from now, that’s 2023. Even if there’s a Democratic president elected in 2020, it’s quite possible that Republicans might control the Senate in 2023.”
Epps said that for now, the future of the court is riding on Ginsburg’s health.
“We shouldn’t be in this position where the future of certain policies turn on whether this old woman is healthy or not,” he said.
Pardon me for saying it, but… Boo Hoo. In 2015 and 2016 there were plenty of people who were assuming that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president and if Ginsberg was one of them I’ll just remind you that hindsight is 20/20. But that might not have even been a factor in her decision to continue working. Professor Epps is bitter now because he fears that Notorious RBG will fall ill to the point where she would have to step down or something even worse. But the woman has already beaten cancer twice and reportedly could run a half marathon if she needed to. Personally, I think she’ll be fine.
But no matter whether it’s retirement or health concerns, the decision remains between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and God. Epps is wringing his hands over “the future of certain policies” (spoiler alert: he’s talking about abortion) and describing it as hanging by a thread based on “whether this old woman is healthy or not.” Is it just me, or is that a pretty offensive thing to say about anyone, particularly a Supreme Court Justice?
If you want to change the system and put term limits on the Supreme Court, draft up an amendment and start circulating it around the country. But until that time, there’s no point debating the retirement age of the justices or harassing them over it. If Ginsburg wants to serve five or even ten more years, that’s up to her. Conversely, if she decides that enough is enough and steps down in January, that’s her prerogative as well. If you want to worry about “some old woman’s health” you should keep saying prayers for Betty White. Now there’s a national treasure.