This jibes with some really bad stuff I keep hearing through the grapevine about Ginsburg’s current health:
The White House is reaching out to politicalallies and conservative activistgroups to prepare for an ailing JusticeRuth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court — an event that would trigger the second bitter confirmation battle of President Donald Trump’s tenure.
The outreach began after Ginsburg, 85, on Mondaymissed oral arguments at the courtfor the first time in her 25 years on the bench. The justice, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, announced in late Decemberthat she underwent a surgical procedure to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs.
The White House “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process,” said a source familiar with those conversations, who spoke on background given the delicate nature of the subject. “They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
Here are some things that people say about Ginsburg that I find astounding:
(1) She’s earned the right to quit whenever she wants to quit. This seems based on the belief that RBG’s interests as an individual trump the collective interests of the 325 million people whose legal and political futures will be shaped by her successor. That belief strikes me as too preposterous to bother debating.
(2) Ginsburg is a very talented judge, in purely technical terms, and the SCOTUS needs very talented judges. The apparent calculation here is that the hypothesized difference in jurisprudential abilities between Ginsburg and her successor may be big enough to outweigh the likely damage done by replacing her with a GOP nominee, discounted for the probability of the latter happening. This belief strikes me as being actually more absurd than (1), if that’s possible.
Ginsburg made a horrible decision by not retiring in 2014, as did Breyer, so this has nothing to do with holding women to different standards than men, despite the evidence-free claims people make in that regard. Ginsburg is obviously under more scrutiny in this regard because of the increasingly obvious precariousness of her health.
She has a moral obligation to stay on the Court through the end of next year, even if that means outsourcing most or even all of her work to her clerks.