The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Courts

Ginsburg: Court Opening Coming 'Soon'

By Robert Barnes
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told law students in Boston Friday that there might be an opening on the Supreme Court "soon," but did not indicate when it might come nor who might be leaving.

Ginsburg was answering questions from students at New England School of Law when she said that the nine justices only take pictures together when a new member is added, according to an Associated Press report. "We haven't had any of those for some time, but surely we will soon," Ginsburg said, according to the report.

She did not take questions from reporters at the event, so it was unclear whether Ginsburg had specific knowledge or was simply acknowledging the aging of the court.
Ginsburg, who turns 76 on Sunday, has said recently that she has no plans to leave. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last month, but her doctors said the cancer was detected early and had not spread beyond the tiny tumor they removed, along with her spleen. Ginsburg was on the bench less than three weeks later without missing a court session, and has had an active schedule since then.

She has specifically mentioned as a role model on the court the tenure of Justice Louis Brandeis, who, like Ginsburg, was appointed to the court when he was 60. He served until he was 82.

Speculation about a departure has also centered on two of Ginsburg's fellow liberals on the court, John Paul Stevens, who will turn 89 next month, and 69-year-old David H. Souter. But neither has mentioned the possibility.

Souter alone among the justices apparently has not hired clerks for the next term. On the other hand, he is usually the last to make hires, and normally chooses clerks in late spring for the term that begins in October.

Souter made a rare public address to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences earlier this week, but did not mention his future on the court.

Souter prefers his home in New Hampshire to life in Washington, which Ginsburg alluded to in her remarks to the law students. She said Souter recently escorted her to the opera, in place of her ailing husband.

"He never goes out, so people were amazed to see him," Ginsburg said, according to the Boston Globe.

Ginsburg, who survived colon cancer 10 years ago, said advice from fellow cancer survivor and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on when to schedule chemotherapy has helped her keep up with the court's pace, the AP reported.

"She said when you're up to chemotherapy, you do it on Friday, Friday afternoon. You'll get over it over the weekend and you'll be able to come to the court on Monday," said Ginsburg, who added O'Connor returned to work nine days after being treated for breast cancer. "So I've been following her advice meticulously."

Posted at 5:03 PM ET on Mar 13, 2009  | Category:  The Courts
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: Holdren and Lubchenco Headed for Confirmation | Next: Gibbs on Stewart's Cramer Interview: 'I Enjoyed It Thoroughly'

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I nominate Professor Derrick Bell

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 14, 2009 9:34 PM

Usurper pResident Obama cannot legally nominate anyone to the Supreme Court or anything else for that matter.
so boring. the same old, same old. get a new schtick, sheesh.

Posted by: frieda406 | March 14, 2009 4:44 PM

"We" all feel for you and wish you well. Brave Lady.

Posted by: crrobin | March 14, 2009 4:00 PM

New meds or different meds. The current one(s) aren't working.

Posted by: frodot | March 14, 2009 8:59 AM

No, I am not off my meds. Care to comment on the substance of my posts now?

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2009 8:30 AM

sounds like JakeD has gone off his meds again...

Posted by: Kuihao | March 14, 2009 1:40 AM

Justice Ginsburg is laying the foundation for Obama to select another female to the brench. She has seen his Woman's Council and how much he respects the qualified educated female, like his wife. She is only looking to make sure woman's voices are heard in this country. As we've heard some of the hateful attack by Law Makers, we're blessed to have now an honest, educated and Christian President and a Justice like Mrs. Ginsburg that puts the needs of the American people first.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | March 13, 2009 7:09 PM

I doubt that pro-life President JFK would agree with that assessment. Besides, Usurper pResident Obama cannot legally nominate anyone to the Supreme Court or anything else for that matter.

Posted by: JakeD | March 13, 2009 7:07 PM

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: profile in courage.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 13, 2009 6:33 PM

Hopefully "soon" is not before Obama leaves ; )

Posted by: JakeD | March 13, 2009 5:12 PM

JUSTICE GINSBURG: God bless you.

But first, there is much unfinished business.

Please see the personal account below:

JUST POSTED TO RAWSTORY.COM "comments" section by Vic Livingston, a/k/a "scrivener50" RE: Sy Hersh story about domestic "ops" against U.S. citizens:

To the poster above who says Hersh should "turn over" his evidence to the DOJ immediately...

I, a well-known journalist, have been a victim of the microwave radiation weapons (DEW) "slow-kill" torture of this "extajudicial punishment network." It's not just "commandos." There is evidence that this weaponry has been deployed to units fronted by federally-funded community policing, town watch and "anti-terrorism" volunteer groups -- Citizen Corps, USA on Watch, Infragard, etc.

I have been BEGGING the FBI, the intake agency for DOJ, to open a civil rights investigation. I was told there is nothing to investigate.

BUT some good people within the FBI apparently interceded to save my life -- because I was incapacitated, unable to write, barely able to speak.

But no investigation -- and the "directed energy weapons" attacks continued -- UP UNTIL TODAY. We have been irradiated as we sleep. I believe radiation devices or weapons have been secreted in our home, and in the homes of close neighbors.

DOJ "investigate? THEY KNOW ALL ABOUT THIS, FROM THE INSIDE. They FUNDED this weaponry. They AUTHORIZED its "use."

But a security/intel "Multi-Agency Action Coordination Center" has been, and still is, conducting this "program" -- a wide-ranging "extrajudicial punishment network" that has tentacles into ALL aspects of American life, including the health care system -- in which "targets" are said to be HARMED, and not helped. I am one of them.

Now AG Eric Holder and President Obama must act.

As for the mainstram media -- of which I was a member for thirty-plus years -- I have been the object of a slander campaign that ruined my career as my health was degraded. My colleagues, including Sam Roberts at the New York Times, refused to take me seriously. I believe some powerful entity slandered me to him -- and he is a former boss, someone who knows the quality of my work.

Even Keith Olbermann -- who acted like someone had told him terrible things about me -- would NOT listen when I ran into him at 30 Rock.

Keith and Sam: Will you listen now?

Read my articles and leave a message at

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 5:09 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company