“There are some things I would like to change, one is the Electoral College.”
On Monday night SCOTUS Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at Stanford Law. And in a question-and-answer session with the students, she touched on politics.
RBG lamented on how very partisan Congress and the confirmation process have become. She recalled that back in 1993, when she was being confirmed, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah fully supported her. But she pointed out that Republicans like Hatch “today wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot pole.”
“I wish there were a way I could wave a magic wand and put it back when people were respectful of each other and the Congress was working for the good of the country and not just along party lines.”
“Someday there will be great people, great elected representatives who will say ‘enough of this nonsense, let’s be the kind of legislature the United States should have.’ I hope that day will come when I’m still alive. “
RBG then spoke of her desire to get rid of the Electoral College.
“There are some things that I would like to change, one is the Electoral College,” she said, “but that would require a constitutional amendment and amending our Constitution is powerfully hard to do.”
The students also asked about something we’re all thinking about right now with Trump in the White House…her age. Ginsburg is one of the oldest Judges on the Court at 83. But if she were to retire Trump would be able to turn the Court into a far-right institution for the next generation or more.
A student asked,
“A lot of people have been expressing encouragement that you eat more Kale — so to speak — so that you can continue doing the public service work that you are doing for as long as possible.”
“I was wondering,” he continued, “who do you want to eat more Kale in Washington?”
Without missing a beat she answered, “Justice (Anthony) Kennedy.”
After the laughter and applause died down, RBG said,
“There are three of us on the current court who are well beyond what the French call ‘a certain age,’ so it’s Justice Breyer (the youngest) and the two octogenarians: Justice Kennedy and me.”
She added, “A very important part of my life is my personal trainer who has been with me since 1999.”