Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t ready to retire from the highest bench in the land any time soon.
Speaking Sunday in New York City after the production of a new play exploring the life of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Ginsburg, 85, told audience members she aims to serve “at least,” five more years on the Court. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years,” Ginsburg said.
When asked about possible term limits forcing Supreme Court Justices to retire, Ginsburg dismissed the notion outright. “You can’t set term limits, because to do that you’d have to amend the Constitution,” she said. “Article 3 says … we hold our offices during good behavior.”
Ginsburg is by far the Court’s most outspoken critics of President Donald Trump. In a July 2016 interview with Adam Liptak of The New York Times, she expressed concern about how a Trump presidency might impact the Supreme Court and the United States in general. “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Ginsburg told CNN she viewed Donald Trump as a “faker” who lacked “consistency.” “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego… How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that,” she fumed. Days after criticizing Donald Trump, the liberal folk hero walked back her remarks, calling them “ill-advised.” “I regret making them,” she said in a statement.
This is not the first instance in which Ginsburg has signaled an eagerness to remain on the bench. She told supporters at an Equal Justice Works event in October 2017 that she has no plans to retire. “My answer is as long as I can do the job full steam, I will do it,” Ginsburg said. “I used to have an answer; it worked for a lot of years. It was Justice [Louis] Brandeis when he was appointed. He was the same age as I was, 60. And he stayed for 23 years, so I expect to stay at least as long. Well, now I’ve passed Brandeis, I’ve passed [Justice Felix] Frankfurter,” she added.
Ginsburg, often referred to as “Notorious R.B.G” by her liberal supporters, has served on the Supreme Court since she was appointed to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993.