Law School Dean: Ginsburg Should Retire, Let Obama Pick Successor

Image: Law School Dean: Ginsburg Should Retire, Let Obama Pick Successor

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 08:50 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A University of California law school dean's call for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire in June so President Obama can appoint a liberal replacement insults the nation's high court, a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News wrote Monday.

"... [O]nly by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values," UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky wrote in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece, predicting his call would not be the only one aimed at the oldest member of the Supreme Court.

And the sooner the better, the dean wrote in the piece published Saturday.

"If Ginsburg waits until 2016 to announce her retirement, there is a real chance that Republicans would delay the confirmation process to block an outgoing president from being able to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court."

But an incensed Breitbart columnist Frances Martel slammed the dean for misunderstanding the dynamics of the nation's high court.

"The Supreme Court is not an entity that defines itself by left/right dynamics, and to immediately align Ginsburg in such a way with the views of the Obama administration is to reduce her judicial interpretation to the petty whims of electoral politics," she wrote.

"To demand sacrifice from her in order to win a partisan battle is to belittle the institution she serves."

Chemerinsky argued there's "nothing new" in a politically calculated retirement date.

"... [N]ot doing so ignores the reality that ideology matters enormously in Supreme Court decision-making," he wrote, adding "... ideology always has mattered, and which president fills vacancies on the court can have an impact for decades."

In a rare interview last August, Ginsburg dismissed the idea she'd step down simply to ensure Obama could appoint her successor before his term ends in January 2017.

"I’m hopeful about the next president," Ginsburg told Bloomberg News.

Ginsburg has served since 1993, when President Bill Clinton made her the second woman ever to serve on the high court.

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