Screen shot of RBG action figure.

 

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to work. She even received a get well card signed by many of Hollywood’s most recognizable names including Stephen Spielberg, Bradley Cooper and Glenn Close. This effort had been organized by the directors of the RBG documentary, Betsy West and Julie Cohen.

West and Cohen issued a joint statement which was obtained by the AP:

After Justice Ginsburg’s surgery in December, pretty much every actor or filmmaker we met would ask us to pass on their personal good wishes to her. We know RBG is a huge movie buff — from big Hollywood epics to small indie films — so we thought she’d get a kick out of a get well card from some of the biggest names in the film world.

Given that liberals were offering body parts to keep the 85 year old judge alive after news reports of her cancer surgery surfaced last December, this gesture comes as no surprise. They are desperately hoping she will remain in her seat until a Democrat wins the presidency, which they believe will happen in 2020.

In the past, RBG has vowed to work until she can no longer work at “full steam.”

This woman will turn 86 next month. She has survived three bouts with cancer, colon, pancreatic and most recently lung cancer. She had a stent implanted during a heart procedure.

She has fallen asleep on numerous occasions, including once during a State of the Union address.

By RBG’s own standard, it’s time for her to retire. It’s quite apparent that she can no longer work at “full steam.”

However, she is determined to remain until a Democrat can appoint her successor.

Although Obama was in office for eight years, during his final two years, Republicans held the Senate majority meaning they could veto any of Obama’s nominees. Now, Ginsburg is determined to hold on for two more years.

What will she do if Trump is reelected?

Although the Constitution doesn’t specifically state that Supreme Court Justices must be granted lifetime appointments, “Article III, Section 1, states that federal judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” They hold their seat until they retire, resign or are removed from office. As long as they don’t commit a crime, they can retain their position. So, although the term “lifetime appointments” does not appear in the Constitution, essentially that is what they are.

There was a reason our founders did not set term limits or age limits for Supreme Court justices. They wanted them to remain apolitical. It was their intention “to prevent the legislative and executive branches from manipulating the courts. The wording of Article III means that neither the president nor Congress can institute term limits, ensuring judges are secure in their job and beholden to neither branch’s whims.”

Alexander Hamilton made this argument overt in The Federalist Papers: No. 78.

If, then, the courts of justice are to be considered as the bulwarks of a limited Constitution against legislative encroachments, this consideration will afford a strong argument for the permanent tenure of judicial offices, since nothing will contribute so much as this to that independent spirit in the judges which must be essential to the faithful performance of so arduous a duty.

It appears that our founders considered this issue carefully and made a wise decision.

Unfortunately Supreme Court justices are not apolitical and RBG is basing the timing of her departure on politics. And there is nothing we can do about it.