Ginsburg Should Have Retired This Summer

Timing is crucial for a progressive replacement: Chemerinsky
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2014 12:27 PM CDT
Ginsburg Should Have Retired This Summer
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her Supreme Court chambers in Washington, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

She's said it before and she's saying it again: Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn't going anywhere. In an interview with Elle, the 81-year-old Supreme Court justice, who reacted furiously to the Hobby Lobby ruling, says women's rights will take a more progressive turn "when we have a more functioning Congress." Until then, she'll be sitting on the bench. "Anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they're misguided," she says. But as admirable as her intentions are and as important as she is on the court, her refusal to retire is the wrong choice, writes Erwin Chemerinsky at Politico. And it may already be too late to right it.

Had she retired this summer, President Obama could have chosen "virtually anyone" as her replacement, including "someone of similar ideology," Chemerinsky argues. However, a Republican majority could take over the Senate in November and there's zero chance a Republican Senate will allow "even someone slightly progressive" to replace her. If a Republican president follows in 2016, Ginsburg's next shot at a progressive replacement will be when she is almost 88 years old. Now, Ginsburg must "give serious thought to timing her resignation" or else "everything she cares most about in the law will be in serious jeopardy." Plus, "the results in terms of all of our rights" may be "truly chilling," Chemerinsky says. Click for the full piece. (More Ruth Bader Ginsburg stories.)

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