In case you weren't already aware, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg always means business. Not only has she served on the Supreme Court since 1993, but she's overcome a series of health issues over recent years. Well, it looks like she's back and stronger than ever, because Ruth Bader Ginsburg's "I'm very much alive" remark shut down any rumors that she'll be taking a break from the bench.
On Tuesday, July 23, Ginsburg spoke to NPR about her tenure serving as Supreme Court justice and proposed changes from 2020 Democratic candidates to increase the number of justices serving on the bench. Ginsburg is currently one of longest serving Supreme Court Justices in United States history, and has earned a formidable reputation through her advocacy of women's rights and more liberal stances on political issues. However, Ginsburg has been subject to a number of health issues over recent years, such as her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009 and lung cancer in December 2018. Ginsburg's health has led concerned citizens and politicians to question whether she will continue serving as Supreme Court Justice. While speaking to NPR, Ginsburg recalled when a senator claimed that she would die within "six months" after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and Ginsburg's response was the perfect blend of shade and strength. She said,
There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive.
Ginsburg's response to her health issues was arguably the mic-drop of the interview, but the justice also discussed the future of the Supreme Court, particularly in regards to proposals to change the number of justices serving. Democratic 2020 presidential candidates including Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have all stated they would consider increasing the number of Supreme Court justices if they were elected as president. When asked by NPR what Ginsburg's thoughts were on the proposal, she said that she didn't believe it is necessary.
Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time. I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.
Even if a certain senator might have believed Ginsburg's Supreme Court tenure was running out, the long-standing justice has other plans. On July 22, Ginsburg delivered a eulogy at former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' funeral, where she shared a personal story of the two of them. While speaking, Ginsburg told Stevens that her dream was to serve on the court as long as he did. The former Supreme Court justice served on the bench for more than 34 years before retiring. After revealing this, Ginsburg told the crowd that Stevens immediately told her to "stay longer" than he did. Well, that's certainly some encouragement.
Ginsburg, also known as the formidable "RBG" has proved to be a force within the Supreme Court. Health issues or not, clearly Ginsburg is here to stay and slay.