Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Supreme Court Justices Should Stay If They're Able To Work

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Some liberals have recently called on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire so that President Barack Obama can choose her replacement. At 80, she is the oldest justice on the court. Some fear that if she chooses to stay, a Republican succesor to Obama might nominate another A. Scalia. God help us! But Justice Ginsburg believes that Supreme Court justices should not be influenced by political assessments of a party's future prospects with respect to the court.

One of Ginsburg's shining moments came with the dubious ascension of one George W. BUsh to the White House. With respect to Bush v Gore, Ginsberg's decision was the best, better even than those who agreed with her. Scalia's decision was poorly written, his conclusions wrong and wrong-headed.
Not only that --Ginsberg was, I believe, outraged that the case had been "dumped" on SCOTUS. At the end of her decsion, she wrote simply: I DISSENT --not "I respectfully dissent" as is normally the practice.
Rarely has this Court rejected outright an interpretation of state law by a state high court. ...The extraordinary setting of this case has obscured the ordinary principle that dictates its proper resolution: Federal courts defer to state high courts' interpretations of their state's own law. This principle reflects the core of federalism, on which all agree. ...Notably, the Florida Supreme Court has produced two substantial opinions within 29 hours of oral argument. In sum, the Court's conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court's own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States.I dissent.
--Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (Bush v Gore)

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