Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg declined to announce her retirement, once again, on the last day of the session on Monday. Also, Justice Anthony Kennedy declined to his announce his retirement, though he could do so over the summer.
The 84-year-old Ginsburg — the “Notorious R.B.G.,” to her fans — has been on the Court since 1993, when she was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Since then, she has been a reliable liberal vote for 24 years, though observers have long wondered if she has the stamina to continue. Last year, Ginsburg blasted then-candidate Donald Trump as a “faker,” and echoed Democratic Party talking points on Trump’s tax returns — an astonishing breach of custom and decorum. She later apologized.
The 80-year-old Kennedy is rumored to be considering retirement after nearly three decades on the Court, since being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Kennedy has some conservative views but has become the “swing vote” on the Court between the current four liberal and four conservative justices, especially on cases dealing with social issues. Such is Kennedy’s power over major national issues that he is jokingly referred to as the one person who really rules the country — or as “President Kennedy.”
In April, Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) hinted that a justice might retire over the summer, though he did not say whom. Speculation immediately surrounded Kennedy, since Republican appointees might be expected to allow a Republican president to name their replacements.
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