Ginsburg says she isn't going anywhere

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she has no plans to retire from the Supreme Court anytime soon, resisting pressure from some liberal advocates who want to ensure that President Obama can appoint her successor before he leaves office.


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At 80, Ginsburg is the oldest member of the high court and has survived two bouts of cancer in the last 15 years. But she said in an interview this week she is in excellent health, despite a May fall in which she broke her ribs.

"It really has to be, ‘Am I equipped to do the job?'" Ginsburg told Reuters, rebutting the argument of a Harvard University law professor, Randall Kennedy, who said she should take the political environment into account in her decision. “I was so pleased that this year I couldn't see that I was slipping in any respect,” Ginsburg said.

After recovering from her fall, Ginsburg said she is back to lifting weights and remains energized by her work on the bench. She has said before she wants to match Justice Louis Brandeis’s 23 years on the court as its first Jewish member, which would take her to April, 2016, Reuters reports. She also cited as a “model” the 35-year tenure of Justice John Paul Stevens, who was 90 when he stepped down in 2010.

Ginsburg has served on the Supreme Court since 1993 and is the senior member of its liberal wing.

In an indication of her thinking, Ginsburg openly mused whether former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor left too soon when she retired in 2006 at age 75 to care for her ailing husband. "I wonder if Sandra regrets stepping down when she did?” Ginsburg asked Reuters.

Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, but control of the chamber, which must approve Supreme Court nominations, will be up for grabs in 2014.