Shuran Huang / NPR
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview on Tuesday that she does not support proposals from some Democratic presidential candidates who support a change in the number of Supreme Court judges if the Democrats win the presidency.
Ginsburg, which acquired itself In difficulty criticizing candidate Donald Trump in 2016, was not criticized this time for any democratic aspirant, but for his proposals to settle the two conservative appointments of President Trump in court.
" Nine seems to be a good number. It has been like this for a long time, "she said, adding," I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to grab the court. Several Democratic candidates have indicated an openness if they should win the presidency to increase the number of Supreme Court judges to lessen the power of the current Conservative majority Some would also like term limits for judges on the Supreme Court
The proposal on term limits does not bother Ginsburg because she sees it as totally unrealistic, since the Constitution sets the living conditions for federal judges, and because, as she puts it, "our constitution is very difficult to change."  You do not see the video? Click here.
In fact, it accepts the votes of two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives and three quarters of the state legislatures.
But in the In contrast, as Ginsburg notes There are no fixed number of judges in the constitution In the course of history, he had only five judges and even ten.
Roosevelt's proposal would have earned him six additional appointments to the Supreme Court and expanded the court to 15 members. And Ginsburg sees a similar plan as very damaging to the court and the country.
"If anything made the court look biased," she said. it would be – one page says: "When we are in power, we will increase the number of judges, so we have more people choosing as we want. & # 39; "
detracts from the idea of an independent judiciary, she said.
" We are blessed in the way that there is no other justice in the world, "she noted." We have a lifelong tenure. The only way to get rid of a federal judge, is the impeachment. Congress can not take revenge on reducing salaries, so in my opinion the guarantees of judicial independence in this country are the same or higher than in any other country. "Space differently in the world."
But the whole The country's independent judiciary depends on public trust, she notes.
"The court has no troops under its command," stressed Ginsburg, "does not have the power of the purse, and again and again, when the courts say something, people accept it."
She remembered ] Bush v. Gore the controversial case in which the Supreme Court has stopped a recount in Florida in the 2000 presidential election.
"I have spoken out against this decision," said Ginsburg. "I did not think so, many people disagreed, and yet there was no riot on the streets the day after the court ruled, people got used to it, and life went on."
Ginsburg's interview with NPR was wide-ranging and discussed, among other things, her health. She had three serious cancers in the last 20 years. In 1999, she was operated on for colorectal cancer, followed by nine months of chemotherapy and radiation. In 2009, she was operated on for pancreatic cancer and at the end of last year for lung cancer.
Survival of the Naysayer
Ginsburg's Icon In particular, the status of women and their leadership of the Liberal wing of the Supreme Court means that each Health news, which concerns the tiny 86-year-old justice, can cause panic in certain areas.
Ginsburg is unaware Health concerns, but waving worries about their future.
"There was a senator, I believe, after my pancreatic cancer, which announced with great pleasure that I would be dead within six months," she recalled. "The senator whose name I forgot is now dead himself, and I," she added with a smile, "am very much alive."
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However, most cancer patients are worried. Some see a crab, no matter three, as a sword of Damocles above their heads. How does Ginsburg manage? She said she followed the advice of opera singer Marilyn Horne, who was interviewed in 2005 on her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
I want to live, but I will live. "
But the fight against cancer is exhausting and hard, so how does it manage its work?
" The work really saved me, "she said," because I had to focus on reading the briefs, to write a draft opinion, and I knew it was necessary So I had to get over all my pain just to get the job done.
Missing Marty Her lung cancer last year, however, was the first time she had not had her beloved husband Marty with him Year 2010 and she said she misses him everyday, maybe right now.
Her kids were visiting frequently to raise her spirits, but her husband, she said, was always there, taking care of her and sleeping next to her on an uncomfortable bed or sofa in the hospital, despite his bad back.
He cared so hard for her that at a time when she got a blood transfusion, he ripped out the infusion because he noticed that one of the infusions of antigens did not match.
"I might not have lived if he had not been there," she said.
And then there were more subtle ways to crank her mind and spurred her to physiotherapy that she needed to get stronger again. Famous for his culinary skills, he made meals for her. He would entertain them, read their short stories, and he would serve as their newspaper clerk, she said.
He would find the articles in the newspaper that would interest and amuse them. With a wistful smile, she said, "I miss him every morning."
She added, "I have no one who can read the papers in the papers, which I should read."
Justice Stevens in Ginsburg: "Stay Longer" than He
The interview followed Ginsburg's speech the day before at the private funeral of Justice John Paul Stevens, who died on July 16 at the age of 99 Years died.
Just days before, Ginsburg had been with him at a conference in Portugal.
Stevens retired from the court in 2010 at the age of 90, and when the two of them drove together in a car less than two weeks ago, Ginsburg told them their dream
"And his immediate answer was:" Stay longer! "
Refuting the Party Political Perspective of the Supreme Court
Like other liberal and conservative members of the current Supreme Court, Ginsburg refutes the notion that the tribunal is a partisan institution.
Yes, it's definitely more conservative than she would like, and yes, she has strong disagreements with some of her colleagues on some issues. Overall, however, she believes that the judges work well together.
With a grin, she notes that the two judges appointed by President Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, served as judicial officials in their early years. And she points out that in this term she has given each of them important opinions in order to write in cases where she was the supreme justice in the majority and the supreme justice did not agree.
No "Back to Old Paths"
Interestingly enough, when the judiciary was asked to name their greatest accomplishments, she did not cite her work in court, but her work as a lawyer in the 1960s and 1970s Years, which led the legal fight for gender equality in the law.
When asked if she worries that the current Conservative majority will abate on issues of gender equality, she replied, "I believe there will be no return to old ways."
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And she noted that the late Judge Byron White, one of the two dissidents in Roe v. Wade was, "The world has really changed what women do," she said, and there's no turning back] Does she regret it?
Regret? she asked in astonishment.
"I think I was born under a very bright star," she said. "I've graduated from law school with top grades, no law firm in New York will hire me, and in the end I have a job and time to balance the rights of women and men."
And Ginsburg always thinks he has led a very happy life.
Editor's note: The author interviewed Ginsburg in connection with a speech she will deliver to the American College of Surgeons. At this event, Ginsburg's surgeon is sworn in as the new president of the organization.