Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells the AP, in a roundabout way, that she won't be retiring from the Supreme Court "anytime soon." The significance? Ginsburg is 78 and the court's oldest justice. She's also had health problems, and Democrats' worst-case scenario is that President Obama loses re-election, and Ginsburg has to retire soon afterward. She could, of course, retire now and allow Obama to make a new left-learning pick.
"She has in her power the ability to prevent a real shift in the balance of power on the court," says the dean of the University of California at Irvine law school. "On the other hand, there's the personal. How do you decide to leave the United States Supreme Court?" Ginsburg would not address the topic in an interview, but she wrote a note to AP in typical good humor saying she is still waiting for the return from a traveling exhibit of a Josef Albers painting that normally hangs in her office. "Couldn't think of leaving until after it is returned to me, which won't be anytime soon," she wrote.