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President Donald trump has begun to work on a plan to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as rumors of her retirement have started.
Some prominent pundits have said they have heard rumors that she would retire as soon as this week.
“A little birdie (in DC) tells me Ruth Bader Ginsburg announces her retirement tomorrow. If so, get ready 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome squared. Libs will need kiss from mommy, straight jacket & rubber room. Lots of moaning, wailing & heads banging against doors,” Newsmax TV’s Wayne Allyn Root wrote.
“Word is Ruth Bader Ginsburg is about to retire…President @realDonaldTrump and the Republican controlled Senate will have another chance to confirm a Conservative Justice. 3 Trump appointed Supreme Court Justices to lead our nation’s Laws back to God,” Pastor Mark Burns, who often appears on Fox News, said.
And those rumors are being helped by news that President Trump is preparing to replace her, Politico reported.
The White House is reaching out to political allies and conservative activist groups to prepare for an ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court — an event that would trigger the second bitter confirmation battle of President Donald Trump’s tenure.
The outreach began after Ginsburg, 85, on Monday missed oral arguments at the court for the first time in her 25 years on the bench. The justice, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, announced in late December that she underwent a surgical procedure to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs.
The White House “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process,” said a source familiar with those conversations, who spoke on background given the delicate nature of the subject. “They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
Ginsburg had a pulmonary lobectomy, the Supreme Court said in a statement, and her doctors said that post-surgery there was “no evidence of any remaining disease.” She has also recovered from several past health scares. But her departure from the Court would allow Trump to nominate a third Supreme Court justice — the most in one presidential term since President Ronald Reagan placed three judges on the highest court during his second term.
The nine-member court is currently divided 5-4 between its conservative and liberal wings. Ginsburg’s departure would allow Trump to create the Court’s strongest conservative majority in decades, a scenario sure to bring intense opposition from Democrats and liberal activists still furious over the October confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“It would be a brutal confirmation,” said John Malcolm, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. “The first two were not easy at all, but this would be much harder in this respect: When Neil Gorsuch was the nominee, you were replacing a conservative with a conservative. With Kavanaugh, you were replacing the perennial swing voter, who more times than not sided with the so-called conservative wing, so that slightly solidified the conservative wing.”
“But if you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas,” Malcolm added. “It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.”
Justice Ginsburg has stated that she wants to stay on the Court until age 90, but she has said she would retire when she could no longer do the job at 100 percent, The Washington Examiner reported.
Although Ginsburg said last summer that she hopes to serve until she is 90, she has been consistent about when it will be time for her to hang up the robe: “I said I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam,” she said on Dec. 17 at the New York City premier of “On the Basis of Sex,” a movie based on her early career. Five days later, Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove early-stage cancerous nodules and was hospitalized for several days.
Last February, Ginsburg used the same phrase during an event at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. “As long as I can do the job full steam, I will be here,” she said.
“I will retire when it’s time,” Ginsburg told NPR’s Nina Totenberg in 2016. “And when is it time? When I can’t do the job full steam.” She used the same “full steam” phrase on at least two other occasions.
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