Retired Justice Stevens lets the cat out of the bag on politicized Supreme Court

Thomas Lifson
Liberals are amping up pressure on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire from SCOTUS, but in the process, they are letting the truth rear its ugly head. The Supreme Court is less a deliberative and scholarly body that plumbs the depth of the Constitution, and more a nakedly undemocratic political body, an instrument of power.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be a reliable liberal vote on the Supreme Court, but she’s old and has battled cancer successfully. So she is under increasing pressure from leftists to retire and allow President Obama to replace her with a younger appointee.  This campaign has been brewing, but yesterday on ABC’s This Week, it took on a new advocate, a former Justice. It is a classic gaffe: accidentally telling the truth.

The Washington Examiner reports:

John Paul Stevens says he thinks it's appropriate for Supreme Court justices to factor in political considerations when weighing a decision to retire.

"I think certainly it's natural and an appropriate thing to think about your successor," the retired justice told ABC's "This Week" in an interview aired Sunday. (snip)

Stevens was asked about speculation that 81-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resisting calls from some liberals to retire while Barack Obama is president and Democrats control the Senate, which must confirm nominees.

"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," Stevens said.

Stevens said his decision to step down was made out of concern about his own health, rather than any political reason.

It’s interesting that Stevens, who still has the energy to unburden himself in public on what his former colleague should do, denies that politics played a role in his own retirement. If his health was so bad, why is he out shooting his mouth off? And why is a man who swore to uphold the Constitution saying that we should rewrite the Second Amendment to limit firearms ownership to people in formal militias?

It is even more interesting that he thinks politics, not the law or scholarship, is the business of the Supreme Court.  In fact, it offers ammunition for people like me who think the Court has taken far too large a role in our political life.

Liberals are amping up pressure on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire from SCOTUS, but in the process, they are letting the truth rear its ugly head. The Supreme Court is less a deliberative and scholarly body that plumbs the depth of the Constitution, and more a nakedly undemocratic political body, an instrument of power.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be a reliable liberal vote on the Supreme Court, but she’s old and has battled cancer successfully. So she is under increasing pressure from leftists to retire and allow President Obama to replace her with a younger appointee.  This campaign has been brewing, but yesterday on ABC’s This Week, it took on a new advocate, a former Justice. It is a classic gaffe: accidentally telling the truth.

The Washington Examiner reports:

John Paul Stevens says he thinks it's appropriate for Supreme Court justices to factor in political considerations when weighing a decision to retire.

"I think certainly it's natural and an appropriate thing to think about your successor," the retired justice told ABC's "This Week" in an interview aired Sunday. (snip)

Stevens was asked about speculation that 81-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resisting calls from some liberals to retire while Barack Obama is president and Democrats control the Senate, which must confirm nominees.

"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," Stevens said.

Stevens said his decision to step down was made out of concern about his own health, rather than any political reason.

It’s interesting that Stevens, who still has the energy to unburden himself in public on what his former colleague should do, denies that politics played a role in his own retirement. If his health was so bad, why is he out shooting his mouth off? And why is a man who swore to uphold the Constitution saying that we should rewrite the Second Amendment to limit firearms ownership to people in formal militias?

It is even more interesting that he thinks politics, not the law or scholarship, is the business of the Supreme Court.  In fact, it offers ammunition for people like me who think the Court has taken far too large a role in our political life.