The illness or death of a member of the Supreme Court once inspired kind memories and words for that justice’s accomplishments and contribution to our country. In today’s divided political climate, there are Americans who actually hope for SCOTUS judges whose political views run counter to their own to die.
That isn’t stopping Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she traveled with ret. Justice John Paul Stevens "in the last week of his life," and told him in one of their final conversations, "My dream is to remain on the Court as long as you did." He said to "stay longer," she says. https://t.co/NpENfXpgnb
— CNN (@CNN) July 24, 2019
Ginsburg spoke with an interviewer from NPR on Wednesday about the death of Justice John Paul Stevens and his long and distinguished career. Her hope, Ginsburg said, was that she will continue to be able to serve for as long as he did despite her battles with cancer. Stevens was appointed by Republican president Gerald Ford in 1975 and retired in 2010. With 35 years on the bench, Stevens was the third longist serving justice to ever sit on the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg said during her interview, according to NPR:
‘I said that my dream is that I will stay at the court as long as he did. And his immediate response was, “Stay longer!”‘
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells NPR she's not going anywhere anytime soon.
"I am very much alive." pic.twitter.com/z9PgIgTRq5
— NPR (@NPR) July 24, 2019
Those nasty comments about her imminent demise came up during the interview, as well. Ginsburg was unable to recall the name of Kentucky senator who once happily predicted in 2009 that her pancreatic cancer diagnosis was fatal; in fact, he insisted Ginsburg would not last more than six months and discussed who should replace the iconic justice on the Supreme Court. Forgetting his name was not absent-mindedness on Ginsburg’s part, it’s simply been a long time since anyone heard from Sen. John Bunning (R-KY). After all, he passed away.
‘There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced 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.’
"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now dead himself, and I am very much alive."#RuthBaderGinsburg #RBG https://t.co/qNrkKLD2Ke
— Daniel Paisner (@DanielPaisner) July 24, 2019
Ginsburg also got personal in talking about her most recent battle with lung cancer. For the first time, the 86-year-old justice went through a cancer battle without her beloved husband, Martin, to whom she had been married for 56 years. Instead, she says that it was her work on the court that kept her going.
‘The work is really what saved me because I had to concentrate on reading the briefs, doing a draft of an opinion, and I knew it had to get done. So I had to get past whatever my aches and pains were just to do the job.’
Featured image screenshot via YouTube