Don’t bet on Ruth Bader Ginsburg retiring if Clinton becomes president

Ginsburg made it perfectly clear this summer what she thinks of Trump. If she “can’t imagine what this place would be . . . can’t imagine what the country would be” with Trump as president, as she told the New York Times, there is little reason to believe she’d be willing to let Trump choose her replacement.

And if Hillary Clinton is elected? Ginsburg would be in a position of power unlike any she has experienced in her more than two decades on the court.

She would be the senior justice among the five appointed by Democratic presidents, with a liberal majority that hasn’t existed on the Supreme Court for more than 40 years.

That is important for a reason. When conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is in the majority, he either writes the opinion of the court or decides who will. But if not, the prerogative falls to the senior justice on the prevailing side.

If the majority in a case is composed of only the five liberals, that would mean Ginsburg would either write the opinion or decide who gets the job.