Justice Ginsburg Predicts Democratic Victory In 2016

In a lengthy profile unsubtly titled “The Question Facing Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Stay or Go?” Robert Barnes presents an interesting window into why the Court’s oldest justice does not feel pressured to retire while President Obama is still in office — “I think it’s going to be another Democratic president” after Obama leaves office, according to Ginsburg. “The Democrats do fine in presidential elections; their problem is they can’t get out the vote in the midterm elections.”

Ginsburg was probably the most important women’s rights litigator in American history before she became a judge, and many progressive commentators have urged her to retire soon to prevent her legacy from being undone by a Republican appointee. Her statement about the 2016 election suggests that she is unlikely to heed their advice.


Beyond her prediction that Democrats will retain control the White House post-Obama, Ginsburg lamented that she probably could not have been confirmed in today Senate, claiming that “my ACLU connection would probably disqualify me.” Indeed, Ginsburg’s gone so far as to accuse the Senate, with its dysfunctional confirmation process, of “destroying the United States’ reputation in the world as a beacon of democracy.” In other words, it’s likely that Ginsburg is reluctant to retire because there is no guarantee that anyone up to the task of replacing her — or potentially, any one at all — could be confirmed if her seat became vacant.