April 21st, 2014
09:48 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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. Silence DoGood

    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.
    "someone wants a special favor they finally go to the Supreme court." – like Bush stealing the election in Florida?
    "Constitution already give it to you. You no need Supreme Court." – founding fathers would disagree – balance of power

    April 21, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Amusing to see the lefties throwing their most reliable vote on the SCOTUS under the bus... they must not like their chances of getting a replacement as loony left as Ginsberg in the future.

    April 21, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Lizzie

    rs, you mean she didn't say it or are you in denial.
    Silence is good, I'm not a birther as you call me. But it's a fact, not a myth. Maybe you also don't believe that Barrack Obama got into Harvard because of affirmative action.

    April 21, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Hummmm, seems some of you think only they have job and only thing Supreme Court should do is rubber-stamp things for the wealthy, because we all know how virtuous they are. "Special favors" were never part of the Court's job, but being part of the balance of powers is part of their job. I guess nanny for the Right means no Court, unless, of course, its for something they want. They won't admit how ill-informed they are.

    April 21, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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