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Ruth Bader Ginsburg comes out against Democrat plan to add justices to the Supreme Court


She said it would make the high court 'partisan'


In an interview with NPR published on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that adding additional justices to the Supreme Court, a plan pushed by some Democrats, would be a bad idea and make the court "partisan."

What did she say?

After President Donald Trump appointed two justices to the Supreme Court, making five out of the nine justices appointees of Republican presidents, some Democrats, including presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), began toying with the idea of shifting the balance by adding additional justices to the court.

But Ginsburg, who is currently the oldest justice on the court, argued that this would be shortsighted.

"Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," she said. "I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."

When the Supreme Court of his day struck down a few aspects of the New Deal, an irate Roosevelt had tried to get approval to appoint as many as six additional justices, arguing that the ages of some of the existing justices prevented them from fulfilling their duties. The Constitution does not put a limit on how many justices can be on the court.

"Well, if anything would make the court appear partisan," Ginsburg argued, "it would be that — one side saying, 'When we're in power, we're going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'"

What else?

Ginsburg also addressed rumors that she had already died, or was close to death.

"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced, with great glee, that I was going to be dead within six months," she told NPR. "That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive."

She also said that she planned to stay on the court for "longer" than the recently deceased former Justice John Paul Stevens had. Stevens, who lived to be 99, retired at 90. Ginsburg, who was appointed to the high court in 1993, is 86.

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