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Justice Ginsburg Retirement Chatter Continues, But White House Doesn’t Seem Concerned

A GOP opposition to an Obama nomination to the Supreme Court could backfire on Republicans.

Justice Ginsburg

The White House appears not to be concerned about the possible retirement of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Hill reported.

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The 81-year-old Ginsburg has had health problems, and some on the left have expressed worries about the Obama administration’s ability to find a replacement, particularly should the GOP take over the Senate in November.

But administration officials say they’re not worried about a Ginsburg retirement, whether now or after the midterm elections, nor are they concerned about the process of replacing her.

No one is applying any indirect pressure on Ginsburg to step down now, before the midterm elections, for instance, while the president can still entertain a Senate majority, according to The Hill.

The administration believes a GOP opposition to an Obama nomination to the Supreme Court could backfire on Republicans.

A White House official said it would be difficult for Republicans to explain a decision to hold up an Obama Supreme Court nomination, should the time for it come.

That optimism is difficult to understand. Republicans have filibustered every district court nominee since the filibuster rule was changed so that all presidential nominees, apart from the Supreme Court, may be considered by majority vote.

Despite GOP rage, more than two-thirds of the judges were eventually confirmed with fewer than five no votes.

Obama nominees to the bench waited an average of 238 days from nomination to confirmation — quite a bit longer than the 221 days a nominee waited on average before the filibuster reform. During President Bush II’s term, nominees waited an average of 171 days.

A former senior administration official predicted that even if Democrats keep the Senate, the potential nomination will be a “huge time suck” for the administration because Republicans “will make it a time suck.”

Democratic strategist Tad Devine told The hill: “Republicans will wage a real fight if they feel that a Democratic president is attempting to place anybody on the court that is on the left end of the spectrum. They’re going to go all in and do everything they can to block it.”

Another Democratic strategist suggested the White House is hoping “that if Ginsburg is going to retire she does it soon. Right now, all we would have to do is pick off 5 Republicans … [Majority Leader] Harry Reid controls the floor.”

A huge Supreme Court battle would energize the Democratic base, the same strategist suggested, because it “shows how crucial the Democratic Senate majority is and will activate our base. It would make the election sexy.”

Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1933, Ruth Joan Bader was the second daughter of Nathan and Celia (née Amster) Bader. The family nicknamed her “Kiki”. They belonged to the East Midwood Jewish Center, where she took her religious confirmation seriously. At age thirteen, Ruth acted as the “camp rabbi” at a Jewish summer program at Camp Che-Na-Wah in Minerva, New York.



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