April 21st, 2014
09:48 AM ET
8 months ago

Inside Politics Speed Read: Should Justice Ginsburg retire?

Here's our morning roundup of the big stories Inside Politics on CNN:

The justice and her plans: She’s 81, has had two bouts with cancer and has been on the Supreme Court for 21 years, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made it clear she won’t be rushed off the bench.

It’s no secret that a lot of Democrats would like to see her step down.

There’s certainly no guarantee a Democrat will win the White House in 2016. And more immediately, there’s no guarantee that Democrats will keep their majority in the Senate in 2014. Both elections could complicate Democrats’ hope to replace Ginsburg with an equally liberal justice.

Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Fast Facts

Justice John Paul Stevens was on the court for 35 years when he retired in 2010 at age 90. Stevens told ABC News on Sunday that he has no idea when Ginsburg will retire, but he said she has sought his advice on the matter.

He said it’s entirely appropriate for justices to consider who would take over for them when deciding if they should step down.

"It's an appropriate thing to think about your successor, not only in this job," Stevens said. "I'm just finishing the book by former Secretary (of Defense Robert) Gates. He thought a lot about his successor, too. If you're interested in the job and in the kind of work that's done, you have to have an interest in who's going to fill your shoes."

As the Associated Press’ Julie Pace noted on CNN’s "Inside Politics," her reporting suggests administration officials expect they’ll get at least one more nomination on the high court before President Barack Obama leaves office.

Democrats would likely be much happier with a justice nominated by Obama than one nominated by a Republican president. But justices don’t always hew to party lines. Republican presidents nominated both Stevens and Justice David Souter, the two justices who usually sided with the court’s liberal bloc and whose retirements were filled by Obama nominees.

Biden's show of solidarity: Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine on Monday for a brief and symbolic show of support for the government in Kiev.

The trip comes at a troubled time. There are complaints on all sides about the framework reached last week among Russia, the United States and European Union to reduce tensions in the region.

In Washington, there is some indication that lawmakers think the United States should do more to help the Ukrainian government control separatists who want to follow Crimea and join Russia. Lawmakers, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce leave this week for their own, separate trip to Ukraine.

The New York Times reports Monday on photographic evidence suggesting ties between Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Russian government.

Related: Three different takes on Ukraine

Elizabeth Warren says no … again: She’s said before she won’t run for president. She repeated it on CBS' "Sunday Morning." Elizabeth Warren probably will have to say it again in the future.

No lawmaker excites liberal Democrats like Warren these days. There have been a number of calls from the party’s left wing for the senator from Massachusetts and consumer advocate to run for president.

Warren kicks off a book tour this week – a political memoir called “A Fighting Chance” - and such tours usually raise eyebrows for potential presidential campaigns.

“I'm not running for president,” she said on CBS. “You can ask it lots of different ways. But I wrote this book because we can't wait longer. It's written out of gratitude for my start and the opportunities that America built for me, and how I think that's what we've got to do again. I'm committed to that."

More from our reading list

Michelle Obama and graduation controversy: Some Kansas high school students complained they’d get fewer tickets when their graduation ceremonies were lumped together at the last minute so that the first lady could deliver the Topeka school district commencement address. Michelle Obama also will be noting the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. District officials said Saturday the students would get six tickets each, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Read more at CJonline.com

Obama reportedly plans clemency for hundreds of drug offenders: Here’s the key graph from a long read: “Now, in his final years in office, Obama has trained his sights on prisoners like (Barbara) Scrivner, and wants to use his previously dormant pardon power as part of a larger strategy to restore fairness to the criminal-justice system. A senior administration official tells Yahoo News the president could grant clemency to ‘hundreds, perhaps thousands’ of people locked up for nonviolent drug crimes by the time he leaves office - a stunning number that hasn't been seen since Gerald Ford extended amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers in the 1970s.”  Read more at Yahoo

Grand jury considers whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry went too far in seeking district attorney’s ouster: Read more at the Dallas Morning News.
Obama administration pushes back Keystone XL decision: Read more at CNN.


Filed under: Elizabeth Warren • Inside Politics • Joe Biden • Michelle Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Judge Ginsburg should indeed retire.
    I for one am sick and tired fo seeing her sleeping everywhere.
    She'll be more comfortable in her own bed.

    April 21, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    I think that is a personal decision that every one should make for themselves. I was also harassed by others when to
    retire, so I set my date as December 31, 1999 and fulfilled it at age 73.

    April 21, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. don in albuquerque

    Only if she is ready too. Why should she give up the gravy train the other members of the SCROTUS have.

    April 21, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Obama reportedly plans clemency for hundreds of drug offenders:
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yes he can and I hope he does.
    Unduly harsh penalties meted out.

    April 21, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Lizzie

    "No lawmaker excites liberal Democrats like Warren these days" no wonder claiming to be of American Indian decent because she is from Oklahoma, and then claiming she did not get preferential treatments when applying for a job, is about the same as Barrack Obama applying as a foreign exchange student to get into college. (Guess Hawaii is a foreign country)

    April 21, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. quidestveritas

    pressure her to retire so she can be replaced for political reasons? what a joke.

    April 21, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Lizzie

    Dominican mama...... Why don't you call for Harry Reid to retire, he forgets what he says from one day to the next, guess he has Alzheimer's.

    April 21, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. rs

    Sure, it would be nice to replace Ginsberg on the Bench while we have a Democratic President- Watch the GOP go right to the edge of shutting down the Supreme Court by refusing to confirm the President's choice.

    Ginsberg will go when she is no longer able to perform the job- and that hasn't happened yet.

    April 21, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    The seats I'd like filled include Chief Justice Roberts, who said during his confirmation hearings that he would defer to precedence and then brought Citizens United before the Court (highly unusual in itself) and wrote the majority opinion that opened the floodgates on anonymous, unaccountable money influencing our elections. Roberts ignored 100 years of settled law when he did this – and, in my opinion, he should be impeached for obviously lying during his confirmation hearings.

    Others I'd like to see gone are Scalia and Thomas. Both make up their minds before hearing cases and then look for information to support their opinions.

    April 21, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. rs

    Lizzie

    "No lawmaker excites liberal Democrats like Warren these days" no wonder claiming to be of American Indian decent because she is from Oklahoma, and then claiming she did not get preferential treatments when applying for a job, is about the same as Barrack Obama applying as a foreign exchange student to get into college. (Guess Hawaii is a foreign country)
    __________________________
    Ooops, your tinfoil hat is just a little crooked there.

    April 21, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Gunderson

    Well Folks,
    It appear she not ready to retire. Who want retire? Liberals afraid of losing lively hood if more moderate of conservative gets put on court. Better not wait for someone else to plan your retirement. That is if you have not already blown it.

    April 21, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. jpmichigan

    NO! The choice to retire is up to the individual, once again Democrats are against women, ask Harry Red to retire, Durbin or Schmurr they need to go.

    April 21, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Lizzie: '"No lawmaker excites liberal Democrats like Warren these days" no wonder claiming to be of American Indian decent because she is from Oklahoma, and then claiming she did not get preferential treatments when applying for a job, is about the same as Barrack Obama applying as a foreign exchange student to get into college. (Guess Hawaii is a foreign country)"

    Nothing like starting your day with posting right-wing lies, eh Lizzie? President Obama didn't apply as a foreign exchange student to get into college; that myth was debunked back in 2009 and yet another lame birther ploy. And while Elizabeth Warren is of Native American decent (as am I, a blond with blue-eyes – and I've got the census records to prove it), that doesn't mean she got preferential treatment when applying for a job.

    April 21, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. The Clear Thinking Independent

    Oh God yes she should retire. It is wholely SELFISH for her to stay on the court and it is detrimental to the long standing principles which she has advances / upheld during her time on the court. Republicans have outright lied about Obama to the American people and have plotted against any success by him since before he was inagurated. It is quite possible that 50% + 1 will buy into the Obama/Democratic hate and elect a GOP president [despite their incompetence]. Ginsberg is 81; she has had a full professional career as a jurist. It`s time to go.
    We have Citizen`s United and the "unlimited campaign contributions" decision because of Roberts and Alito are on the court. They are on the court because of another selfish, egotistical Democrat; Ralph Nader, who ran against Gore in 2000, allow Bush to eek out a win. If Ruth B. Ginsburg has her wits about her, she will realize she doesn`t want a similar legacy for herself. She only emperils to plight of the average, hard working American by staying. She sgould go now while the Dems hold the Senate & the Presidency.

    April 21, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. quidestveritas

    rs, did the supreme court get shut down for Obama's other appointments?

    April 21, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why don't you call for Harry Reid to retire, he forgets what he says from one day to the next, guess he has Alzheimer's.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well so did Mittens but that didn't stop anybody running him for president did it?
    When he starts snoring and drooling he can join Ms. Ginsburg.

    April 21, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Lizzie
    "same as Barrack Obama applying as a foreign exchange student to get into college"
    -------------
    ding ding ding Conspiracy Winner of the morning – AND a Birther! 100 points awarded.
    Lizzie – don't bother that this has been debunked over and over and is even listed on Snopes with the other loony urban myths.

    April 21, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. rs

    quidestveritas

    rs, did the supreme court get shut down for Obama's other appointments?
    ______________________
    Nope, but the anti-government crowd is getting more insane every day.

    April 21, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    quidestveritas

    rs, did the supreme court get shut down for Obama's other appointments?
    ______________________
    Nope, but the anti-government crowd is getting more insane every day.
    -------------
    After reading the Tea Party threats of violence against the government, I think a supreme court shutdown attempt is not out of the question in their minds.
    "... people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out." —Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, floating the possibility of armed insurrection in a radio interview, Jan. 2010

    April 21, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. TONE

    jpmichigan

    NO! The choice to retire is up to the individual, once again Democrats are against women, ask Harry Red to retire, Durbin or Schmurr they need to go.

    Why not ask the entire Gop house, and senate to retire because they are good for nothing they did nothing in five years.

    April 21, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. devil's advocate

    Silence, don't you just love the way the Republicans say what they mean, then when called out on their ridiculous statements, they suddenly become the victim, like they are above saying anything insensitive, sickening. Palin bring the queen of course.

    April 21, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    Probably not. It is her decision.

    The Dems want to exercise age discrimination, and replace her with a younger justice to assure themselves of maintaining the majority on the court.........because when ti comes down to the bottom line, the Dem justices vote based on political party agenda, and not point of law.

    April 21, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Gunderson

    Humm,
    No doubt some of you on here should "Retire" but you have to have a job first. Job of Supreme Court is final Arbitrator of U.S. Constitution of which should be few and far apart. Mostly when someone wants a special favor they finally go to the Supreme court. Time "Special" favors sent to trash heap of History. You want "Special" Favor? Constitution already give it to you. You no need Supreme Court.

    April 21, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Abbey

    The answer is yes. But since the issue is not about the law or ability, the progressive hillbillies will make this about an attack on women.

    April 21, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @devil's advocate
    Silence, don't you just love the way the Republicans say what they mean, then when called out on their ridiculous statements, they suddenly become the victim, like they are above saying anything insensitive, sickening. Palin bring the queen of course.
    ----------–
    Indeed! The best liberal progressive motivator is a conservative within the GOP with an open mouth and no filter.

    April 21, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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