Ginsburg’s Recurring Cancer Exposes Vulnerability On The Court

Below is my Hill column on the news that Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had additional cancer treatment. I have previously written about “Ginsburg’s gamble” in refusing to resign during the Obama Administration. Already over 80, some encouraged her to leave the Court to allow Obama to pick her successor — and to safeguard dozens of cases impacting the lives of millions. The recurrence of her cancer treatment exposes not only the risks of that decision but also the absence of any way for the Court to deal with potential incapacities.

Notably, Justice Thomas could face the same questions. Long rumored to be considering retirement, a defeat by Donald Trump could hand his seat to a liberal justice and endanger a number of conservative holdings.

Here is the column:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is reportedly doing well after a course of radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer, but the news of her latest treatment sent Washington into collective cardiac arrest on Friday. Echoing many David Axelrod of CNN declared that President Trumppotentially filling her vacancy would “tear this country apart.”

Ginsburg is now 86, and this is her fourth bout with cancer following treatments in 1999, 2009, and 2018. She is not only a liberal icon on the Supreme Court but holds the critical fifth vote in areas ranging from reproductive choice to immigration to executive powers. Of all our government institutions, the Supreme Court is the most vulnerable to potential incapacities, not only because of its small number of nine justices, but the absence of any rule to deal with such eventualities.

Indeed, its history is rife with controversies over the health or capacity of its jurists. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he fully intends to fill any Supreme Court vacancy arising before the end of the Trump administration. There is no question that the president would relish one more vacancy, but this is a standoff that favors Ginsburg. The Constitution has no provision to remove a justice for poor health or incapacity. It allows for only one way to remove a justice, which is impeachment. That rule has been tested repeatedly in history.

Justices have faced a variety of serious mental or physical incapacities over time. In the 19th century, Justice Nathan Clifford was described as a “babbling idiot” but continued to serve on the Supreme Court until his death. Justice Henry Baldwin was described as suffering from “incurable lunacy” and was hospitalized but served for more than another decade. Justice Ward Hunt was left speechless and paralyzed by illness but refused to resign unless given a pension. Congress finally relented and granted him a pension so it could wrest his seat from his hands.

In more recent times, Justice Frank Murphy and Justice William Rehnquist were alleged to have drug addiction issues while serving on the Supreme Court. The decision on when to retire is left to each justice, but the chief justice is expected to address questions over the fitness of the members. Back in the 19th century, Justice Robert Grier had three strokes and Chief Justice Salmon Chase finally insisted that he resign, though not until Chase secured his key vote to strike down the Legal Tender Act.

Of course, this will not work when the chief justice is the one whose capacity is in question. Chief Justice John Rutledge was described as experiencing “mad frolicks” and was “frequently so much deranged as to be in great measure deprived of his senses.” Having served by recess appointment, his nomination was the first to be rejected by the Senate. He later tried to commit suicide by jumping into Charleston Harbor.

The absence of any rule to deal with incapacities on the Supreme Court is particularly troublesome for a bench with only nine members. A single inactive member leaves the Supreme Court in a tie. For that and other reasons, I proposed more than two decades ago that the Supreme Court be expanded to 19 members. Democrats have now latched on to that idea for the wrong reason to stack the Supreme Court ideologically.

In an unprecedented filing, Democratic Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand, warned conservative justices that they should change their voting patterns or face congressional intervention. They wrote that the Supreme Court “can heal itself before the public demands” it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.” While it is doubtful that Whitehouse and his colleagues could stack the Supreme Court, the threats make the Ginsburg news all the more rattling for Washington.

This is not the first time Ginsburg has been the subject of dire speculation. In July, she said of the late Republican Senator James Bunning, who died in 2017, “There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who had observed with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive.” Ginsburg planned to “stay longer” than the late Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010 at age 90. At the time, he was the second oldest serving and the third longest serving justice.

For her to do so, of course, would require her to hold her seat through the Trump administration. Thus, the return of her cancer unnerves many, including those who encouraged her to retire before President Obama left office so that he could appoint her replacement. Ginsburg opted to stay, and she clearly does not relish the prospect of Trump nominating her successor. She had said she would move to New Zealand if Trump were elected and later said sexism was a “major factor” in his victory.

For Ginsburg and her supporters, the decision not to retire during the Obama administration was akin to Captain Hernando Cortes burning his boats after landing in the New World. Ginsburg already was over 80 and effectively committed herself, and an array of key rulings, to as many as eight years to avoid handing Trump the chance to fill her seat on the Supreme Court and the ability to reverse cases dangling by one vote.

However, there is no evidence that Ginsburg has declined intellectually, and she has remained active and productive on the Supreme Court. She certainly has shown incredible stamina and resilience in fighting recurring cancer over the past 20 years. Hopefully that will continue, but her gamble still leaves many uneasy when so much hangs in the balance.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

106 thoughts on “Ginsburg’s Recurring Cancer Exposes Vulnerability On The Court”

  1. Proper title was the Army-McCarthy hearings I was old to watch them not just view a biased movie. McCarthy was off base If I could see that a nine years old….That was probably my start point as a Constitutional Centrist. Now we don’t have McCarthyism we have Ocasioism and there is no doubt at all about that one.

  2. Why would a Constitutionalist like Trump appoint a socialist?. Maybe you didn’t proof read what you wrote.

  3. I think it fairly certain that Ginsberg will be replaced by a woman who brings an originalist perspective on Constitutional meaning and impact. Mr. Axlerod’s comments were way out of line and childish. The militant-radical left is gradually being forced to accept:
    1) meritocratic argument
    2) incremental, continuous improvement
    3) majority rule (the consent of the governed)

    The Supreme Court is one locus where these tokens of moderation and civics are secure, for now. I think we won’t see sweeping policy decisions like Citizens United and Obergefell arising from the future Roberts Court. The thrust now is to force policy responsibility back onto the elected branches, preferably Congress.

    1. The supreme court is about NONE of those.

      It is irrelevant what “argument” has the most merit.
      What matters is what the constitution says, and then what the law says.
      If you, I the left, the right, the justices do not like the law or the constitution – we have legitimate mechanisms to change the law and the constitution.

      Incrementalism is NOT a legitimate role for the court – for precisely the same reason.
      We can change the country “incrementally” – by changing the law and the constitution. NOT by changing how the courts read the law and constitution.

      SCOTUS is not there to protect the majority – the majority needs no protecting.
      The role of SCOTUS is pretty much always to say NO!.

      No to any infringement on the rights of individuals beyond the few permitted by the constitution. If the majority of us wish to ship the majority to gas chambers – we would all understand that is wrong.

      It is still wrong when the majority merely wish to deprive some minority of us of the size soda that we want.

      A right is something that the majority can not infringe on.
      If they can – it is not a right.

      1. John forgets to mention that SC justices are to be selected by the President withe advise and consent of the Senate, the clear intent being that the court reflect indirectly and with filters, the will of the people. We now have a court, because of a stolen seat and 2 presidents not elected by the people, with a majority with a clear political agenda but no authority from the people. How JT writes this column without mentioning Goresuch at least, not too mention Wand Trump’s appointments, while discussing the letter from the Democratic senators defies sense nd leaves it unintelligible. This court is polticized and illegitimate and the sentirs are correct to call it out.

  4. Dem/progressive pollsters, circa 2015-2016: “You can just tell, Americans are sick and tired of establishment, corporate owned, MIC-owned, main stream candidates. HILLARY IS PERFECT!!! SHE’S SUCH A REBEL!!! And she has a VAGINA!!! SHE CAN’T LOSE!!!”

  5. That was REALLY A SMART move by Ginsburg, to stay on after Obama, so that Shillary could replace her!!!

    REALLY SMART! You know, remember “97%” chance Shillary would win?

    Remember the talking heads, early and mid 2016: “…Trump’s star has already fizzled…blah, blah, blah…”

  6. Colon Cancer
    Pancreatic Cancer with excision of majority of pancreas
    Stent to major coronary artery
    Tumors excised in Lung
    Tumors treated with radiation in what little mass she has left in Pancreas

    The word is: metastasis

    Cancer cells (rapidly dividing, dysregulated cells) are everywhere in her body even if they are undetectable by current diagnostic tests. They. are. there.

    With all of the faux psychiatric diagnosis made online by psychiatrists, it is curious that none are questioning RBG cognitive ability knowing her body is being commandeered by a dysregulated, pathological, cellular phenomenon. No one would be able to perform at 100% with such a dire medical condition.

    She is doing a gross injustice to cancer patients by making believe she is fine when colon/pancreatic/lung cancer patients and their caretakers know otherwise. RBG is no legal Mensch like Antonin Scalia. Her departure would mean no intellectual loss to SCOTUS other than what Turley euphemistically (cowardly?) describes as “reproductive rights”

    1. Mr Kurtz – Thomas is not leaving the Court until he has a shot a Sullivan and couple of other favorites he has been waiting for. 🙂

    2. Anyone like you who expects Trump to not soon replace Ginsburg should might/maybe consider slowly minimizing or entirely eliminating their self-medication. Just do it slowly! Really, I care about you!

  7. I believe the Biden rule applies to the final year of a president’s SECOND term, when it is assured that there will be a new president coming in.

    1. FFS – it appears that the Biden rule is in operation at the end of every election cycle.

      Biden rule debate
      They cited a 1992 speech by then-senator Joe Biden, in which Biden argued that President Bush should wait until after the election to appoint a replacement if a Supreme Court seat became vacant during the summer or should appoint a moderate acceptable to the then-Democratic Senate, as a precedent.

      1. I think the Biden Rule is related to, and an extension of, the Biden Bork Rule.
        Both “rules” hold that you stop a conservative from being appointed to the Supreme Court.

      2. Paul, that was why Republicans lost because they played nice to the Dems

        That was then, this is now

        Trump 2020….



    I’m sure Senate Majority Leader McConnell will want to uphold the tradition he began with President Obama’s last nominee to the court. Should Justice Ginsburg die or become incapable of continuing on the court, there can be no consideration of a new nominee until January of 2021.

    I trust that McConnell, a man of unquestionable integrity, won’t cave to demands by Trump to rush a court replacement before next year’s election.

    1. Mr. Garland was treated courteously. His nomination was ignored, as is the Senate’s prerogative. In the last 50 years, Democrats have waged dirty and demagogic campaigns against five Republican nominees to the Court. You’ve earned no courtesies, but you get them now and again.

      1. It is not the prerogative of the Senate to ignore it’s duties. What kind of jackals believes that.? Goresuch is illegitimate which makes the court conservative majority illegitimate.

        1. Anon1 – state your constitutional claim that justice Gorsuch is illegitimate.

    2. McConnell shall do exactly what your proposed POTUS, now-dementia victim Biden did. There was a vacant SCOTUS seat while now-dementia victim Biden was a Senator. Biden forbid the Senate from considering a nominee. Then later, while Biden was VP, he demanded exactly the opposite. Watch the YT video if you forgot about Biden’s hypocrisy.

      Why exactly do you expect or predict the GOP act better/differently than the standard established by your proposed POTUS, dementia victim Biden?

        1. Biden was in the Senate from 1973 to 2009. During that run of years, the number of Supreme Court vacancies which appeared within the 12 months prior to a presidential election totaled…zero.

          Biden voted against the confirmation of William Rehnquist, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito, so it wasn’t for lack of trying to block nominees.

          1. Biden also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Bork confirmation hearings.

        2. Liberals are calling to kill Trump supporters.


          Washington Post columnist warns of need to ‘burn down the Republican Party’ to wipe out Trump supporters

          Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin pushed for Americans to work together to “burn down the Republican party” in the hopes of extinguishing any trace of the enthusiasm for President Trump.

          Rubin appeared on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” Sunday and said that not only does Trump have to lose in 2020, but there must be a purging of “survivors” who still support the commander-in-chief.

          “It’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose,” she said. “We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party.”

          “We have to level them because if there are survivors — if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.


          1. Rubin’s job is to provide emotional validation for other employees of The Bezos Bum Wipe. She has no starboard constituency. She never really did, bar the editors of Commentary and Mitt Romney’s press office.

          2. I agree with Rubin. American leaders need to know that if they collaborate with an unbalanced, malicious fool their careers will be destroyed. And the fact that so many Republicans are retiring from Congress shows they dont want to get burned.

            1. Hill:
              “American leaders need to know that if they collaborate with an unbalanced, malicious fool their careers will be destroyed.”
              Guilt by association. Par for the leftist mentality. Maybe we should consider their brand of malignancy and shun and shame then into oblivion. Careful what you ask for — the other side is bigger, smarter and better armed. You ask for a fight, most of the time you’ll get it. I see Antifa scurrying about when they were directly challenged in Indiana. I think that will be the new normal.

              1. Mespo you’re pretending Trump is a ‘normal’ president. He is no such thing. Nothing about Trump’s campaign and presidency have been normal by any stretch.

                Normal presidents don’t spark major controversies every day. They don’t alienate allies on a routine basis. They don’t ‘mistakenly’ acquire racist images for no reason whatsoever.

                Normal presidents aren’t constantly spinning wild conspiracies to explain their deficiencies. Normal presidents don’t employ their daughters and son-in-laws as Senior Advisors. Nothing about this president is normal for a moment.

  9. While we disagree on politics, I am very sorry to hear that Ruth Bader Ginsberg has suffered a recurrence of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a bad one with a usually poor prognosis, but I’m sure that, unlike other pancreatic cancer patients, she was already under close monitoring. They probably caught it early.

    She is a brilliant legal mind, and I found her close friendship with Scalia across the political divide touching.

    While it is easy to plot Game of Thrones with SCOTUS seats, they are filled with people. Ruth Bader Ginsberg strikes me as someone whose identity is tied to the bench. When they retire, such people can sometimes lose their interest in life, and may decline rapidly. She obviously enjoys her work so much that she plans to continue in it until the moment she expires, having done what she loved until the end.

    There were tactical considerations to her retiring under Obama, so her continuance seems to indicate her level of passion for her job.

    I wish Ruth Bader Ginsberg a full recovery, and that she can continue to serve as long as she wants.

    With that said, it is time that the country enacts a provision for incapacity in a Supreme Court Justice. 1 in 3 people over 75 suffer from some form of dementia. While Justice Ginsberg is lucky to have dodged those odds, others may not. There are myriad health concerns that can affect the judgement, which is critical to performing the duties of a Supreme Court Justice.

    However, we would need to keep these measures protected from being weaponized politically. It appears that any number of psychiatrists seem willing to jeopardize their medical license with politicized armchair diagnosis of politicians. There would be psychiatrists willing to assassinate the Supreme Court seat of anyone of any political persuasion.

    We should have a cognitive impairment test administered every other year, beginning with the year of declared candidacy, of any elected official 65 years of age and older, and every judge, from the lower courts all the way up to the Supreme Court. There are other jobs that should also require a mental competency exam as a prerequisite for fitness for duty. Then there needs to be a process for the removal and replacement, either temporarily or permanently, of incapacitated judges.

    In this way, we can all benefit from the wisdom that comes with age and experience, while protected against incapacity.

    I suspect that some people shy away from elder statesmen, out of concern for the plague of mental incapacity that has strucken down so many in this day and age. Such protections might give seniors a more fair shot.

    1. she’s done. pancreatic cancer and at that age will wipe her out fast. jaundice coming soon. this is a stalling game. I will say this, I admire her team spirit.

      1. She does have a strong will.

        All of the anxiety over the politics of Supreme Court justices would cease if personal politics did not impact the bench. However, as little as I know about SCOTUS, it appears that there are doctrinal differences in interpreting the Constitution as a living document, or the more static Constitutionalist.

        1. smart strong-willed team player. not my team, but i can admire the will nonetheless

          appearances can be deceiving. Only a fool looks and thinks upon seeing her, that the old jewish granny is weak, just because she looks that way. physically perhaps but that is just one human dimension. behind the owlish spectacles lurks a keen mind, huge self discipline, rigorous scholarship, and again, team spirit

          and remember, “the strength of the wolf is in the pack”

        2. The Constitution IS a living document as is. That’s why we have the Amendment Process. It is hardly static.with 2 some amendments

          Thirty-three amendments to the United States Constitution have been proposed by the United States Congress and sent to the states for ratification since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789. Twenty-seven of these, having been ratified by the requisite number of states, are part of the Constitution.

          The average is one proposed ever 7.4 years and one ratified every 8.8 years.

          Just because the anti-constitutional pro socialist marxist leninists want it to be more flexible for their unconstitutional purposes doesn’t make it so. they don’t even know where the political center is found.

          In a Representative Constitutional Republic the Center IS The Constitution and not in the space between Marx and Lenin. That space occupied by a hyphen. The Constitutions space is occupied by independent self governing citizens.

    2. Karen, with a short menu of exceptions (some cases of leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and the odd case of colon cancer), stage IV cancers are fatal. It’s not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’.

      1. TIAXI:

        The median survival for untreated advanced pancreatic cancer is about 3 1/2 months; with good treatment this increases to about eight months, though many will live much longer. There are cases of patients living nine to twelve years. RDB was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009. The math is not good for her to survive more than 12 months.

        1. There’s an odd minority who last a while. A dear friend of mine survived a Whipple procedure in 2007. After he was in the recovery room, the surgeon appeared to all of us discussed the likely course of events. They’d sent samples to the pathologist and were awaiting results If it’s pancreatic cancer, they said, it will return. If it’s a bile-duct cancer or a local metastasis of colon cancer, it might not. (It turned out to be colon cancer. It returned in 2009 and killed him in a few months. I miss him terribly).

          People who survive as long as she has are a single-digit minority. She has multiple tumors in her lungs and now another lesion on the pancreas.

          Contrary to what Paul said, the court isn’t all she has. She has children and IIRC they have children. She had sufficient people skills to make a friend of Antonin Scalia. (Alan Dershowitz said at the time she was nominated that she was inappropriate for the position because she had the soul of tax lawyer and was terribly difficult with attorneys over minor matters).

          1. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. It is chilling how cancer can come back with a vengeance.

          2. DSS – if you were her kids would you call or write? 😉 Just saying?

            1. Both children attended law school. The daughter has a faculty appointment at Columbia. Nepotism begins at home. The son went into the music publishing business. By some accounts, he had his mother officiate at his wedding, which is uber creepy.

              1. TIA:
                Sorry about your friend. But officiating at a secular ceremony is something lawyers and judges occasionally do even for family. I’ve done two myself.

          3. TIA,

            Sorry about your friend.

            Knowing people with cancer is odd enough without being close to them.

            Maybe these newer treatments will help more have at least a bit more time.

            And maybe big tech will soon stop blocking people online talking about new ideas for treatments.

      2. stage IV cancers are fatal.

        Staging is everything but we have not been provided that information re: RBG.

        Radiation at her age is rarely performed given that radiation is fairly brutal on anyone. Pancreatic cancers are deadly because the organ is highly vascular, and by the time the patient notices any symptoms or nodules on radiology, the cancer is far gone. Breast cancer can be detected by a lump. Not so with pancreatic, lung nor colon, and she’s had all 3. Cancer cells have been coursing through her veins for quite a while. It’s called mets at the molecular level.

        the most reputable guidelines Oncologists use on cancer treatment are provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Pancreatic guidelines are

        Since we do not know the staging, other than she having resected pancreatic cancer, we can only go on her having had Radiation Therapy (RT)

        Recommendations for RT for patients with pancreatic cancer are typically made based on five clinical scenarios:
        1) Resectable/borderline resectable (neoadjuvant) 2) Resectable (adjuvant)
        3) Locally advanced (definitive)
        4) Palliative (non-metastatic and metastatic)
        5) Recurrent
        For definitions of these scenarios, See Criteria Defining Resectability Status (PANC-C).
        • In these scenarios, the goal of delivering RT is to sterilize vessel margins, enhance the likelihood of a margin-negative resection, and/or provide adequate local control to prevent or delay progression of local disease while minimizing the risk of RT exposure to surrounding organs at risk (OARs). Radiation can also be used to palliate pain and bleeding or relieve obstructive symptoms in patients who have progressed or recurred locally.

        Thus she had RT for one of the above 5 reasons. her outcomes are unknown to those who do not have complete data. That they treat her like royalty is a scandal to the average cancer patient, particularly pancreatic cancer patient which has one of the most ominous overall survival rates…nothing good

  10. Dr Turley – Do you really favor a change to the number of justices or just lining up with the Dems? What we know is that the Democrats will do anything it takes to retain power – change the constitution, malign and smear people (the names are too numerous to recount), ruin people financially (Gen Flynn), and commit violence (see Always-Fa and the multiple leftist violence.) Why not just change to 19 not RIGHT NOW to make sure the Libs won’t abuse power later. Given their record, we can be sure they will.

    1. So you’re down with Flynn accepting money from mass murderer Turkey Pres. Erdogan, to try to send a man legally living in America over to Turkey to be tortured and killed?

      Why don’t you please do some research Re. the innocents Erdogan has murdered, including persons having committed the crime of being related to persons Erdogan suspects of being involved in the attempted coup?

      Flynn deserves a long stay in a prison hell hole. I used to think like you do, and quickly changed my mind based on Turley’s superb reporting Re. Flynn. Unless he’s repented for his sins and crimes, he’d sell your soul and mine to the devil for money.

  11. Notably, Justice Thomas could face the same questions. Long rumored to be considering retirement, a defeat by Donald Trump could hand his seat to a liberal justice and endanger a number of conservative holdings.

    Mr. Justice Thomas is 15 years younger than Ginsburg and not an oncology patient. Anthony Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, Byron White, Harry Blackmun, Thurgood Marshall, Wm. Brennan, Lewis Powell, Warren Burger, Wm. O Douglas, and Earl Warren were all 4-20 years older than is Judge Thomas today when they resigned from the Court, and David Souter was only a tad younger. Wm. Rehnquist, given a cancer diagnosis in Oct. 2004 which carried a life expectancy of six months, insisted on remaining on the court until his death (at which time he was a decade older than Thomas is today). Hugo Black and John Marshall Harlan were at death’s door before they could be persuaded to retire (Black was 14 years older than is Thomas today; Harlan two years older). Thurgood Marshall was a triumph of the taxidermist’s art at the end of his service. Thomas is not the priority here.

    Twelve year terms, retention-in-office referenda, and mandatory retirement at some point between your 72d and 77th birthday should be the order of the day for federal judges.

  12. Obama wouldn’t have appointed as strong a justice as Ginsburg that’s why she stayed and it’s a life time appointment. As to her retirement, I hope she doesn’t. As to worries about her health, many male justices have had serious health problems and remained without the continuous drumb beat that they retire. She will leave when she decides she can no longer do the work.

    1. “worries about her health”? She’s a terminal patient.

      Obama wouldn’t have appointed as strong a justice as Ginsburg

      Well, I’d wager that Kagan and Sotomayor might depart the Court if their life expectancy was < 1 year. Otherwise, on what do the three disagree about which anyone but parties to a particular case would care?

  13. Granny needed to go along time ago. These spiders cling tightly to power long after their brain synapses short-circuit. Ideology aside, she needs to leave for good of the Republic. I know my fastball is down a few mph at age sixty. She’s got to be into junk-balls at age 86. Why do we feel these judges need tenure for life? How about age 70? That’s long enough on the public dole with answerability to practically no one.

    1. mespo – you would need a Constitutional change and you know what kind of mess that would be. Besides, you can be fully intellectually functional at 75-85.

      1. ” … you would need a Constitutional change and you know what kind of mess that would be. Besides, you can be fully intellectually functional at 75-85.”
        It would be and you can but the latter is not the norm. Given her tumultuous health issues, someone should have sat her down and explained that no one in this situation could be confirmed by the Senate so why should she still continue to preside.

        1. Someone near her in the last ten years should have told her it’s time for Viking River Cruises and Elderhostel. If anyone attempted it, they broke their pick.

          1. While someone can be intellectually functional at 75 to 85 is true there is also a physical component to performing a task that needs to be taken into account. The defence of these old codgers clinging to power is disgraceful and propaganda at its worst. There should be yearly mental and physical testing of these people after 75 plain and simple.

    2. Will you stop commenting? It’s clear you have a problem making an argument without nasty attacks. Is it your age? I don’t think so.

      1. Justice Holmes – what mespo said was one of the nicest things I have heard by a lawyer about Ginsburg and her health.

  14. Prepare for Ginsburgmaggedon. It’s a’comin’ sooner rather than later Either that or Weekend at Bernie’s. (As a hospice nurse I’m pretty clear on how much time she has remaining, especially at her age and in her state of poor health.)

    1. juliabarrett – I am afraid she is going to be like the Queen Mother and outlive us all.

  15. sgtchina, you seem to ignore the democratic rule of not nominating a a supreme court justice in the last year leading up to a presidential election. Either you didn’t know that, or if you did, you ignore it. Either way, how bliss is your ignorance?

    1. That applies when different parties control the White House and the Senate. In this case, both are controlled by Republicans so that Biden rule does not apply.

  16. I am really tossed about this. Her husband is dead and the Court is all she has. She seems to be competent, however chemo brain is always a problem with radiation patients. I am sure her staff are writing her decisions and she signing off on them.

    1. “however chemo brain is always a problem with radiation patients”

      Actually, it’s not. Beam therapy and PRRT are selective for tumors and not notably hard on the brain.

      Neither you nor I have information before us which allow anything like an estimate of Justice Ginsburg’s mental status.or her ability to perform the tasks related with her job.

      1. loupgarous – I do not know anyone who has gone through radiation treatment and not had “chemo brain”. Now this only lasts for a day or two but patients are told not to make major decisions during this period. I am only going on what is being reported and although her physical health is excellent because she is constantly exercising (at taxpayer expense) her brain is being affected none the less.

  17. These people cling to power and position even when they can no long contain their bowels, let alone their reason. I think JT’s solution of a gradually expanded court is due consideration.

    1. ” I think JT’s solution of a gradually expanded court is due consideration.” -ti317


  18. She was right to not retire. Moscow Mitch would not have allowed a vote just as he did for Obama’s nominee and rammed another right wing Federalist down America’s throat.

    1. sgtchina, what is a Federalist? Try on this one for size: Federalism is a system of government in which entities such as states or provinces share power with a national government. The United States government functions according to the principles of federalism.

      1. Try doing a little research into the Federalist Society. There is no rule except Moscow Mitch’s that says a Supreme Court justice cannot be appointed in the last year of a presidency. Better go back to class. And by the way, I’m not Chinese, just an American soi dog, mixed breed, Scotch, Irish, Creek/Choctaw and who knows what else. Chinese are intensely disliked where I live and all over SE Asia. They are the danger the US ignored while wasting lives in the mideast on the Cheney/Shrub folly.

        1. Ignoring China? We just threatened them with economic disaster by pulling US investment unless they straighten up and quit manipulating currency and trade. It was your team that let them grow exponentially with nary a whiff of opposition.

          1. mespo – China’s yuan is in the trash right now. They are losing this trade war.

            1. Paul they took central bank actions to drop it on purpose. This is a tool in their trade war. The cheapening of Chinese imports. The victims are the Chinese who have savings which now has lost purchasing power.

            2. In effect, they’re looking for an exit strategy that lets them keep face. The great rule of both macro and micro economics that Ilearned is that “he who hath the gold maketh the rules.” As the world’s largest market with a booming economy that means the US. sanction away. I can do without $3 screwdrivers and $12 shoes.

            3. Devaluing your own national currency is a classic intentional move to increase balance of trade in your nation’s favor. China’s devalued the yuan for just that reason several times.

        2. “There is no rule…that says a Supreme Court justice cannot be appointed in the last year of a presidency.”

          And there is no rule that says a Supreme Court justice must be appointed in the last year. That is the prerogative of the Senate alone. Try using your brain for once.

          1. “Try using your brain for once.”

            Oh he does! He uses it to show us how he does bowel movements


          2. There are two requirements. Nominated by The President and Confirmed by by The Senate. No other requirements. not citizenship, age, gender education and there is no time limit. The left doesn’t have the votes to stop a nomination and now The Prez may to more in?

            Damn finally back to the Constitutional Center! Enough of this foreign ideology and these Oath deniers and Oath breakers.

    2. You really loved McCarthy in the McCarthy anti-Soviet hearings, didn’t you?

      1. Princess Trohar – Never forget McCarthy was right! Eisenhower screwed him over because he got to close to Eisenhower’s beloved army. Aren’t the Democrats they anti-Soviet’s right now? Isn’t Jerry Nadler the modern day Joseph McCarthy? Or is it Chucky Schumer?

        1. Actually, McCarthy was a crass opportunist and perfectly redundant. Prudent and knowledgeable people understood and attacked the problems in question without his histrionic displays.

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