Hey, Trump, Don't Mess With Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg let the country know that she's probably (read: definitely) not voting for Donald Trump in November. Trump jabbed back by suggesting that she shouldn't even be on the high court anymore. It's a new bit of drama in the chaotic presidential campaign. But let's just remember one thing: Trump shouldn't mess with Ginsburg.

To recap, Ginsburg called Trump a "faker" and made it clear that she doesn't see the business mogul as presidential material. She told CNN analyst and Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic, "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego." It's highly unusual for a member of the Supreme Court to take a public stand in presidential elections, and Ginsburg's comments seemed to catch many politicians off guard. Perhaps no one was more taken aback than Trump, who tweeted in his typical fashion, "Her mind is shot — resign!" If Trump had his way, he'd probably be using his favorite line — "You're fired!" — on Ginsburg. Fortunately for RBG, even if Trump becomes president, he won't have that power over her.

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Ginsburg's relatively independent power is only part of why Trump shouldn't mess with her. Although she would likely have to recuse herself from any upcoming cases that Trump would be involved in, the Supreme Court could hold the key to the White House if November's general election isn't conclusive. That's what happened in 2000 during the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Even if she's not ruling on the election of the president, Ginsburg probably isn't leaving the Supreme Court's bench any time soon. Justices only leave office through death, voluntary retirement, or impeachment. Needless to say, Trump certainly wouldn't have grounds to impeach Ginsburg based on her comments so far during the election, and she doesn't seem ready to retire on her own.


In fact, Ginsburg's resiliency is another reason not to mess with her. She has battled various health issues in recent years, including pancreatic cancer. Around the same time as her treatment, Ginsburg's husband passed away in 2010. At 83, she's currently the oldest member of the high court, but she hasn't let that hinder the later part of her career on the bench.

In 2014, many progressive politicians called for Ginsburg to retire. They wanted President Obama to be able to appoint a younger, like-minded justice to the bench before leaving office. Ginsburg knew that Obama would have a hard time getting a justice like her approved by the Republican-dominated Congress and vowed to stay. In other words, Ginsburg is confident in her place on the bench, and Trump would have to get used to that. She probably would enjoy falling asleep at one of his State of the Union addresses, though.