Supreme Court

Why Do Liberals Keep Bugging Ruth Bader Ginsburg About Retirement?

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Credit: Whitehouse.gov

In April 2011, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy published a surprising article in The New Republic urging Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to stop being so selfish and to start thinking about the good of American liberalism by planning their early retirements from the bench. "If Ginsburg and Breyer abjure retirement and Obama wins," he wrote, "the justices' subsequent departures will be relatively harmless. On the other hand, if Obama loses, they will have contributed to a disaster." Indeed, Kennedy asserted, "Their estimable records will be besmirched…if they stay on the bench too long."

That piece was not exactly subtle in its partisan calculations, but it did make a certain amount of ghoulish sense: Ginsburg and Breyer were not spring chickens and Obama's reelection was not guaranteed. Therefore, Kennedy concluded, the two geriatric justices should shuffle offstage for the good of the cause.

Obama won, of course, averting Kennedy's feared "disaster." So that means liberals have finally stopped bugging Ginsburg and Breyer about their retirements, right? Not exactly. Earlier this week, on the occasion of Ginsburg's 80th birthday, legal blogger Kenneth Jost weighed in with a post titled, "At 80, Ginsburg Needs to Know When to Step Aside." Here's the crux of what he had to say:

To safeguard her legacy, Ginsburg must now make the right decision about when to retire from the court. She has spoken often — most recently to [journalist Jeffrey] Toobin — about wanting to stay until she is 82, the age at which her judicial hero Louis Brandeis retired from the court. Conveniently, she will reach that age in 2015, with Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat, still in the White House….

Ginsburg told Toobin that she would stay on the court "as long as I can do the job full steam." By her own words, however, her stamina is not the only relevant consideration. Ginsburg's legacy will depend in part on whether she makes the right decision about the best time to step aside.

By her own admission Ginsburg plans to stick around until 2015, which still gives Obama plenty of time to replace her. You'd think her purported admirers would give her a break until then.

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  1. There are non-partisan reasons to think there’s something wrong with someone continuing to work as a justice as long as they have a pulse. Rehnquist was a joke in his last days.

    If anything I would think the leftists would be on Scalia to retire due to old age.

    1. Oh I wouldn’t dare expect him to retire while Obama sits in the oval office. I’ve openly wished for a timely death, however.

      Sometimes, for the good of the country, an old fart just needs to die.

      Of course the big question is how much will Republicans obstruct a nominations process with Obama replacing a member of the conservative bloc.

      1. What happened to the spaces?

        1. Inside his skull? They’re still there.

        2. That account probably got banned.

        3. I was gone for a spell, came around again and beheld the same, a T o n y sans spaces. Except that I didn’t care why. If I am curious about Tony, it is why he thinks with his subpar intellect that he’d ever convert anyone from liberty and freedom to statism and slavery.

      2. I’ve openly wished for a timely death, however.

        As have we….for you.

        1. I don’t wish Tony’s untimely death. I actually don’t mind his presence. I appreciate a thorn in the libertarian consensus, but I really think that we deserve better than a two-year college drop-out who majored in Canadian Studies.

      3. Sometimes, for the good of the country, an old fart just needs to die.

        Aren’t you always preaching about how old people should be allowed to live off the earned income of younger generations for many years to come, a la Social Security?

        1. While I believe that widespread premature death is something that ought to be confined to third-world hellholes, Antonin Scalia is one of the vilest sacks of nastiness on planet earth, and he happens to sit on our supreme court. He just needs to die and do it quickly.

          1. While I believe that widespread premature death is something that ought to be confined to third-world hellholes. On a related note, I intend to turn America into a third world hell hole by demolishing the free market.

            – Truthful Tony.

            1. Oh so we have a free market now?

              1. You guys put it on its death bed and are reaching for the pillow, but until you finish smothering it our economy still stand a chance.

                She’s a tough old bitch.

                1. Until we start talking about raising top marginal tax rates by 4%, then she’s a withering little flower.

                  1. The OECD says America already has the most progressive taxes in the world. NOT PROGRESSIVE ENOUGH. /Progtard Tony

                    You’re not too bright, but it’s cute to watch you flop around.

                    1. I’ve seen that study, and the reason the US measures relatively progressive is not because taxes are so high on the upper brackets, but because they’re so low on the middle class. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed and perhaps even thrown a paranoid fit about, we have shit to pay for.

                      And the progressiveness of the tax system by itself is not the important fact. If a more regressive tax system raised more revenue and improved people’s quality of life, that’s cool with me. The relevant measure is progressiveness of the overall system, taxes plus transfers.

                      From your link:

                      Overall, the study finds that income transfer systems (social insurance, welfare) are “significantly more efficient than tax systems at reducing inequality, as well as more effective…”

                      So, given the undeniable data about income inequality and standard of living in this country, it appears that we a) don’t tax anyone in the middle and upper classes enough and b) we need stronger social welfare transfer programs.

        2. Non tibi, sed Dei

          (Slight modification from the original.)

      4. Sometimes, for the good of the country, an old fart just needs to die.

        I bet this sounded better in the original German.

        I wish you’d hurry up and become “an hero”.

  2. Conveniently, she will reach that age in 2015, with Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat, still in the White House

    The stupidity of that sentence is mind-boggling.

    1. How did he even manage to write that sentence without the cognitive dissonance causing a massive brain hemorrhage?

      1. Well, if you’re going to have a brain hemorrhage, first you have to have a brain.

        1. The ganglia were divided and strategically located throughout his body.

    2. He does mind us having civil liberties.

    3. civil liberties-minded Democrat

      military intelligence

      chaste prostitution

      1. Hey now, Ron Wyden’s still around. So there’s one. Add that to the three Republicans and they can field a relay team!

        1. Psh, the extent of Wyden’s support for civil liberties was shown during the filibuster, when his “support” amounted to “More info would be nice, but not necessary.” That sort of tepid attitude isn’t worth much.

          1. Ron Wyden came back because he forgot his coffee mug and thought he might as well give a speak against assassination without due process so long as he was there.

            1. That’s still heroic compared to the rest of his colleagues.

              1. Yeah, even what he did took guts. I shouldn’t write it off.

                While the filibuster was going on, I called it. I was texting with my redditor brother, who is civil liberties aware on paper but regrettably proggie and an Obama supporter. I told him when it was beginning that I expected 1) Ron Paul to be joined by Ted Cruz and possibly a few other members of the Tea Party Caucus, 2) virtually no Republicans elected before 2010 would give him the time of day, and 3) no Democrats would step up with the possible exception of Ron Wyden. He was certain that the Dems would outnumber the Reps, and the Tea Party was way too conservative for civil liberties.

                Redditors love to think of themselves as being on top of the news, so I won big that day.

    4. He clearly has civil liberties in mind while he is trampling on them.

    5. She just dissented in the first sale doctrine case. Civil-liberties-minded my ass.

    6. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/card-carrying

      If Barack Obama were to win the Democratic nomination and the White House, he would be, among other things, our first civil libertarian president.

      1. Calvin Coolidge did not exist.

      2. Oh, goddammit New Republic.

      3. In New Hampshire, I heard him end a rousing stump speech by promising the cheering crowd, “We will close Guantanamo, we will restore habeas corpus, we will have a president who will respect and obey the Constitution.”

        “In opening, today is not Opposite Day. No thank you and bad night.”

    7. Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat…

      Yes, because you said so.

  3. Not sure which is more offensive: “Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat” or no alt-text.

    1. I changed my mind, first it’s Aresen, then it’s these two.

  4. By her own admission Ginsburg plans to stick around until 2015, which still gives Obama plenty of time to replace her.

    If the Senate Rs pick up a few more seats in the midterms, or even take control of the Senate, they could conceivably stall until late January 2017. Just Bork every candidate Obama sends down.

    1. They’d get slaughtered in the general election if they did that. The press would spend the whole time saying how evil it is for Congress not to agree with whoever the president puts up.

      1. It is already going to be the whole Team Blue campaign theme:

        “The GOP prevented Obama generating economic recovert”

        “The GOP amendments caused all the Obamacare problems”

        etc

      2. Except when the Dems do it as they did for the first 6 years of the Bush administration.

        1. Shhhhh. That’s supposed to be a silent contribution.

  5. Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat

    The Republicans keep obstructing his civil liberties initiatives.

    1. The culture of AHHH SCARY TERRORIST!!! they created is a major contributing factor.

      1. If only the Democrat party had been around before 2008, maybe they could have done something about that. being as concerned about civil liberties as they obviously are.

        1. There are few clean hands when it comes to the post-9/11 freakout. Any that are belong to strong liberals, though.

          By all means fight the good fight on civil liberties. Just be sure you measure out blame proportionately and that your goal is actually enhancing civil liberties, and not just sticking your finger in Democrats’ eyes.

          1. Strong liberals like Ron Paul, who voted against the PATRIOT ACT, the AUMF, and the Homeland Security Act?

          2. There are few clean hands when it comes to the post-9/11 freakout. Any that are belong to strong liberals, though.

            Like Ron Paul?

            1. Strong liberals and Ron Paul.

              1. So pretty much just Ron Paul then.

          3. Oh, fuck off you disingenuous twat. You don’t know the first goddamn thing about civil rights.

            The only place you think the constitution is applicable is your nasty fucking asshole.

            1. Tony: ‘You’re for imposing liberty by authoritarian means’

      2. We get it, Tony. You love George W. Bush. Now can you just let President Obama get back to trying to fix the problems your guy created?

      3. Tu quoque. Fail.

      4. The culture of AHHH SCARY TERRORIST!!! they created is a major contributing factor.

        The ongoing portrayal of BHO as a helpless pawn in the face of the GOP really doesn’t project an image of a strong President, does it.

        And statists LOVE strong Presidents.

        1. What is Obama doing with respect to civil liberties that you would like him to change and that he can change? Do you even know?

          1. Require a warrant for interception of electronic communications, repudiate the use of drones against American citizens, not sign the NDAA, not sign the PATRIOT Act renewal, stop trying to expand warrantless wiretapping powers, refuse to grant the CIA access to the FBI’s financial transaction database, etc, etc

            1. Reschedule marijuana, end DEA raids of medical marijuana producers… Really this list could go on forever.

              1. Actually respond to FOIA requests. A 75% non-compliance rate is fucking pathetic.

            2. Repeal the retroactive immunity for telecoms who abet warrantless wiretapping.

            3. Dismantle the TSA and return airport security management to airports.

            4. Either charge and try the Guantanamo detainees or let them fucking go.

              Same for Bradley Manning.

              1. Pardon that muthafucka.

            5. crickets

              1. Okay you’re saying a bunch of stuff you want, but confine your list to things the president actually has the authority to do. You managed to include a couple in there.

                1. Bonus points for political feasibility.

                  Party hat for anyone who still gives a shit during the Jeb Bush administration.

                  1. Party hat for anyone who still gives a shit during the Jeb Bush administration.

                    Everyone here will….Those fucks over at “Red State” not so much! And I hate to spoil your apocalyptic fantasies but there isn’t going to be a Jeb Bush administration.

                    1. Just, please, please, please FSM, in your saucy wisdom, no “Biden” administration or “Clinton: the Better Half?” administration.

                2. The president has the authority to do virtually everything they listed.

                  Require a warrant for interception of electronic communications, repudiate the use of drones against American citizens, not sign the NDAA, not sign the PATRIOT Act renewal, stop trying to expand warrantless wiretapping powers, refuse to grant the CIA access to the FBI’s financial transaction database, etc, etc

                  All of these are under his control due to them being bills he could have refused to sign or related to executive branch organizations that he controls as the chief executive.

                  Reschedule marijuana, end DEA raids of medical marijuana producers..

                  Clearly under his power since the DEA controls both of these and is under his direct authority.

                  Actually respond to FOIA requests. A 75% non-compliance rate is fucking pathetic.

                  Obviously under his power.

                  Everything Jordan posted is under his control, as are a few of the ones Hugh posted. Try again.

                3. Every single thing I listed is within his power. Every one.

                4. barely managed one, if you can call it that. (Good Dog, you are a coward.)

            6. Gee you guys can’t come up with a single thing to satisfy S o c k p u p p e t s need for an example.

              1. Fine I’ll concede all of them for the sake of argument (except Gitmo which is in Congress’s court). My point was that the political atmosphere that made the American people not give a shit about Muslims’ civil liberties was not created by Obama, but he does has to live in it. I’m not calling him a saint for not giving up executive authority, but then I wouldn’t hold hopes for an actual saint doing that against his will. Congress is the ball on which your eye should be. Obamaphobia is not helpful.

                1. So you get a lengthy list of civil rights violations that Obama is either allowing or aggressively insisting upon, and that he actually can change, and now you move the goalpost and say, OK, fine, but it isn’t politically feasible? The fuck?!? Obama is term limited — the only reason he keeps violating our civil rights is because he wants to.

                  No one in Congress is forcing Obama to drone kill people. I believe a certain Republican senator did a filibuster trying to put some limits on this drone killing.

                  1. Well I don’t think drone killing is a bad thing, at least not relative to the alternatives. Surely you can agree it’s not politically feasible to end the pursuit of potential foreign terrorists. So what’s the problem with using the military machinery that does the least amount of collateral damage of all?

                    I agree with you guys on all the civil rights stuff. Not trying to pretend that I don’t.

                    1. But you are pretending that you do.

                2. Not a lot of Congress love around here. Don’t know what you are saying. Obama has caved on everything important to a person dedicated to liberty. That is called disillusion, not phobia.

          2. “Yes we can” is SO five years ago.

            1. And “the buck stops here”? That’s like ancient history, man.

              1. How old is “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?

              2. How do you even understand what that phrase is suppose to really mean given its like a hundred years old?

      5. Wow, somehow Tony manages to blame Obama’s horrendous civil liberties record on Republicans too. Obama apparently isn’t responsible for anything he does.

  6. she will reach that age in 2015, with Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat, still in the White House….

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh man, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

  7. I never though I’d be sympathizing with Ginsburg. Now the liberal ghouls are hovering around her. In an interview, she referred to “populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” but she probably never imagined that her ideological soulmates would consider he to be part of one of those populations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…..isprudence

  8. I suspect the reason they want to kick Ruth to the curb now rather than wait for the 2014 elections has to do with their current Senate majority.

    Repub delay until after the 2016 elections only blows back on them if Obama is sending credible candidates. Which isn’t a given.

    1. Elena Kagan was definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel. From a practical standpoint, you’d want to install all your recusal-proof bootlickers first, then promote your solicitor general when you’ve run out.

      Maybe Alex Kozinski can don a fake nose and beard and disguise himself as a Obama power fellator?

      1. I think I’ll drown out that unfortunate image of yours with a couple pints of Jack Daniels.

        No, the image is still there.

  9. Liberalism does not haqve a stranglehold on the American throne yet. America is still a majority white nation, it will have a majority-white electorate be for decades. The GOP can win this white electorate if it recognizes that it is the party of white Americans, and mobilizes them. White Americans don’t like mass immigration and they don’t like imperialist war.

    1. You forgot they don’t like teh Joos.

      1. Aren’t the Jooz white by now? Everyone else is, the Irish, Italians, Poles…

        1. Most of the ones I know are pretty pasty.

        2. I miss the days when they had the energy to direct hate at us Catholics. Now you gays just hog all that Nazi hate*

          */sometimes really weird love, a la My Beautiful Laundrette.

        3. Jooz come from the Mid-East so they are officially “brown people”. One drop rule n’ all.

    2. What the fuck does white have to do with liberalism or conservatism?

      1. His handles are getting banned faster and faster. Just this morning someone called “Nyk1” posted this:

        And we’re supposed to believe Shikha Dalmia is actually a libertarian? Ha! It should be clear to everyone by now that Whites (with their unique Western culture) practically invented classical liberalism and libertarianism and thus are the most likely to hold libertarian beliefs. Yet Shikha would want to lower the proportion of the people with libertarian outlook and increase those who think that having a caste system is the best thing since sliced bread.

        Dalmia, do yourself a favor and return to your native India or Pakistan, because at the end of the day the US will be looking just like India, Pakistan, or Mexico as soon as the non-Whites become the overwhelming majority of the US. So there will soon be no advantage for you to live in the US as opposed to India.

        And now we’ve got “D.B. Cooper” posting. I wonder when he’ll tire of innocuous handles.

        1. D.B. posted last night too to let us know what gays really want.

          He may be a separate person from Nyk1.

          1. Huh. Maybe getting H&R on Stormfront’s blogroll wasn’t an unalloyed blessing after all.

            1. I think one of our neo-nazis was claimed to be a half-Jew with an Asian gf, so he wasn’t down with the Stormfront crowd.

              1. It’s cool, Asians are practically as good as whites.

          2. If I recall, Merkin and Patriot seemed to be two different people, so it’s entirely possible here as well. They’re all certainly on the same wavelength though. They all seem alike to me.

            1. All Aryans seem the same to you!? That’s racist, how dare you lump them together.

        2. And we’re supposed to believe Shikha Dalmia is actually a libertarian?

          Obvious trolling. No one actually believes Shikha Dalmia is any kind of libertarian.

    3. WHITE PRIDE WORLDWIDE!

    4. there used to be a real db cooper and i remember that’s how he made his handle. fuck off.

  10. How can ANYONE say this with a straight face: “Barack Obama, a civil liberties-minded Democrat…”

    Well, if you define “civil liberties-minded” as having the revocation of liberties on your mind, okay, I get it. But after the ACLU and other left-vetted groups have pronounced on Obummer’s authoritarianism and rated him “dismal” on (whaddayaknow) civil liberties, one would think folks would move on to other, more defensible adjectives… like “cool” and “toned” and all the words that made Chris Matthews get that chill up his spine way back in 2008 and seemingly offer his fellatio services to the Prez. Sickening.

  11. Who was that “Tony” moron? I notice he disappeared once he learned (for the first time, apparently) just how FREAKIN’ MUCH the Prez CAN do, as the other illustrious posters pointed out. It still staggers the mind how that liberal double standard works — Bush was responsible for BAD WEATHER, whereas Obummer is (as was pointed out cogently above) responsible for NADA. Also spelled NDAA.

    1. Tony (used to be T o n y) has been around for a while. Not sure how much is partisan trolling, and how much is just stupidity/ignorance. I do believe though that he’s actually a lefty, rather than being a self-aware parody of one.

    2. Tony’s trolling follows four steps:

      1. Tony shows up, spews nonsense.

      2. People here mock him for spewing nonsense, Sevo shows up and calls him shithead.

      3. Tony vanishes for 3 hours.

      4. Comes back after no one is checking the article anymore, posts something totally beside the point and declares victory. Sets up a triumph as he has at long last defeated the selfish libertarians.

      1. I do manage to fit a life in every now and then, you know. I post if I’m not busy at work, then take some time off to come home and chill out, eat dinner, then sometimes come back to check on things, especially if I’ve had some cocktails in the interim.

        1. I see you’ve cut your vanishing act down to 2 hours. Well, 1 hour and 58 minutes.

          Must be the sequester.

          1. I take it any economic downturn that results from sequester cuts will be the fault of Obama’s mere presence and not the cutting of jobs and spending?

      1. Tony, do you remember when you had spaces in your name, and before they made you register you didn’t have spaces in your name, and before that your very first post where you tried to convince libertarians that socialism is compatible with libertarianism?

  12. Tony, do you remember that really gay Livejournal web site you had?

  13. Tony, do you remember how I pwned you in that argument in that thread?

    1. Oh, you mean about that one thing to do with that event where that amendment of the Constitution was warped to suit that one politicians ends? I remember that too.

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