Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has no intention of stepping down

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, stands in her chambers Aug. 23, 2013, after an interview in Washington.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued a recent trend of affirming her commitment to staying on the court, telling the New York Times on Friday that she was fully engaged as the leader of the liberal opposition on “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Ginsburg, 80, who has given several interviews in recent months, told Bloomsberg News that she wants to stay on the court “as long as I can do this job full-steam.” She also said she won’t rush into retirement simply to ensure that President Obama can appoint her successor before his term ends in January 2017.

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Ginsburg, 80, is the court’s oldest justice. President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993, making her at the time the second woman named to the nation’s highest court. She has survived colon and pancreatic cancer and has broken ribs twice since June 2012.

Earlier this month, Ginsburg described herself as “the hardest-working justice” in a USA Today article, which said she planned to keep working “with a dedication and fastidiousness that has become legendary among her law clerks and colleagues.”

“Last term was a good example,” Ginsburg told USA Today. “I didn’t write any slower. I didn’t think any slower. I have to take it year by year at my age, and who knows what could happen next year? Right now, I know I’m okay. Whether that will be true at the end of next term, I can’t say.”

Were Obama able to name Ginsburg’s replacement, it’s likely he would choose a liberal-minded jurist who would not alter the balance of the court. A Republican president, on the other hand, would likely choose a more conservative justice, undoubtedly transforming the court.

 
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