Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made headlines this summer for saying she feared for the country and the Supreme Court should Donald Trump be elected, acknowledged the inevitable Monday afternoon: “President Trump.”
In a short question-and-answer session before the Jewish Federations of North America, Ginsburg said the most immediate impact of last week’s election on the Supreme Court is that it will get a new ninth member.
“There is an existing vacancy, and President Trump will fill it,” Ginsburg said. She added, “Then, perhaps, Congress will do some work.”
Ginsburg repeated the same line she used when it appeared President Obama would have the chance to fill the seat. “Eight is not a good number,” she said.
Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat, but Senate Republicans have refused to even hold a hearing on his nomination, saying the next president should choose the successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. Ginsburg said later that she should not have commented on Trump in media interviews after the close of the Supreme Court’s term this summer.
Monday’s crowd gave a rousing ovation to the 83-year-old Ginsburg and cheered loudest for the opening and closing remarks of her interviewer, Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who administered the 9/11 victim compensation fund. “May you live a thousand years,” he said in welcoming her, and he sent her off with, “May she continue in good health.”