In a pair of interviews last week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made it very clear that she believes a Donald Trump presidency would be disastrous to the Court. Ginsburg noted that three of the sitting justices are getting up there in age (Ginsburg herself is 83, Kennedy 80, and Breyer 78), which suggests that the next president will be making Supreme Court appointments beyond that of who will fill the late Justice Scalia’s empty seat.
In her chambers on Thursday, Ginsburg told the Associated Press,”It’s likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make.” When asked about the possibility of a Trump presidency, she replied, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”
She told the New York Times a day later, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.” She continued, “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” She also joked that her late husband, who passed away in 2010, would have said, “‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.'”
The Supreme Court, which currently has only eight members, read decisions on many important cases this spring before breaking for summer recess. In a matter of months, the Court upheld a woman’s right to choose in a landmark abortion case, upheld a gun ban on convicted domestic abusers, upheld the affirmative action policy at the University of Texas (yet again), and blocked President Obama’s immigration plan. The next president will likely determine the composition of the Supreme Court for many years to come.