Justice Ginsburg, 81, Says She'll Stay on High Court 2 More Years

Image: Justice Ginsburg, 81, Says She'll Stay on High Court 2 More Years Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov)

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 03:51 PM

By John Blosser

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It looks like feisty octogenarian Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg plans to remain on the high court for at least two more years.

Ginsburg, 81, in a rare interview, told Yahoo's Katie Couric that she wants to follow the Supreme Court career of one of her role models, Justice Louis Brandeis.

"All I can say is that I am still here and likely to remain for awhile. One of my models is Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, who was appointed to the court at the same age I was. He was 60. He retired at 83. I expect to stay at least that long," she told Couric.

Ginsburg, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton to fill the seat left by Judge Byron "Whizzer" White, has emerged as a liberal on a largely conservative court, according to Biography.com, often standing up for gender equality, as she did in her recent scathing dissent in the Hobby Lobby case.

The court's 5-4 ruling that Hobby Lobby's Christian owners would not be required to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for female employees split largely along gender lines, with all three female justices — Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — joined in their dissent by only one of the men on the court, Justice Stephen Breyer, which raised Ginsburg's ire.

She told Couric she felt the other five male justices had a "blind spot" in their approach to the decision, and added, "The decision that an employer can refuse to cover contraception meant that women would have to take care of that for themselves, or the men who care. Contraceptive protection is something that every woman must have to control her own destiny."

She told Couric that she did not believe the five male justices who voted in favor of Hobby Lobby understood the "ramifications of their decision." But she added that "justices can think and can change. They have wives. They have daughters. By the way, I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers.

"I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow."

Ginsburg, who has struggled through two bouts of cancer and two broken ribs, expects that she may be around to see the change. Asked when she plans to step down, she repliec, "When I can't do the job full steam."

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