Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Question for Liberals

Should Ruth Bader Ginsburg resign from the Supreme Court (conditioned, presumably, on a replacement being confirmed)? Or is that an unreasonable partisan demand on her?

16 comments:

  1. She should have done it in 2011. She had no reason to believe at the time that Obama would win reelection. Now that he has, she should resign by 2015 at the latest. No, it's not partisan. Presumably, she cares about her life's work and her legacy to the country and to the law, and she knows how badly it would be endangered if she were to be replaced with a Republican-appointed justice.

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  2. She should resign

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  3. I hope she resigns at which ever point in the next 3.5 years would give the President the most leverage to appoint his preferred nominee. And I have no idea when that would be.

    But an appointment for life is an appointment for life. I wouldn't begrudge her however she chooses to use that.

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  4. Since I am in favor of term limits for the SC anyway, I'll just say yes. She's served plenty long enough and she might as well resign while a Democrat is President to replace her with another center-left Justice.

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  5. Yes, I think that would be the prudent thing. The closer we get to 2016 or even the 2014 midterms, the greater the Repulicans will have or think they have to play constitutional hardball to delay confirmation of her replacement.

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  6. No one can "demand" it of her, of course, but if she wants to ensure her jurisprudential legacy she should retire sooner rather than later. Any judge who does not time their retirement with the election cycles is naive about 21st century judicial politics. Republicans know this. Scalia is certainly shrewd enough to stay through Obama II and depart as soon as the next GOP President is sworn in. Rehnquist talked openly of preferring that his successor be nominated by the same party that appointed him to the Court.

    I used to think Justice Ginsburg was past her prime as a jurist, too, but I've rethought that somewhat after her NFIB v. Sebelius opinion.

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  7. Absolutely. If she waits till 2016, when the Republicans have a nominee, they could filibuster any would-be-justice that Obama nominates until one of their guys is sitting behind the Oval Office January 20th, 2017.

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  8. I am sorry, but I disagree. Scalia and Kennedy were both born in 1936, they're just three years younger; and while they look hale, they're of the age where things can change quickly when it comes to health. I didn't see conservatives urging either to retire on the chance McCain might loose.

    As long as she's able to do the job, she should do it. I wonder if such prodding would happen if she were a man; would she be expected to put her party and politics first? Should we be asking this of Justice Breyer, born in 1938?

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    1. Scalia and Kennedy in 2008 - 72 years old. Justice Ginsburg this year - 80 years old.

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    2. Yes, we should absolutely be asking this of Justice Breyer. Who knows what the electoral battleground will look like in 2016. We need a line change of the Clinton appointees.

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    3. Moreover, if I were a conservative, I'd have urged Scalia and Kennedy to retire in 2008 (assuming that the timing worked and they could have had replacements appointed before Obama came in; no sure thing with a Democratic Senate).

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  9. I think there is no need for her to step down anytime soon, and I guess it would be preferable for her to be part of the court majority before she retires... and that could still happen in the next two years if either of the conservative Justices would need to retire.

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  10. I don't know her health or anything. She looks old, but what's that mean? Anyone of any age can take a turn for the worse rather quickly.

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    1. She had pancreatic cancer a few years ago.

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  11. She has an obligation to resign.

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  12. Agree with Chaz. Like it or not the SC is a highly political body and everyone on it knows this. She needs to support her team and resign.

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