Harvard Law Prof to Justices Ginsburg & Breyer: Retire Now Before You Drop Dead During Republican Administration

April 28th, 2011 12:36 PM

Didn't Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy get the word? Barack Obama's re-election is all but guaranteed if you believe the liberal mainstream media. Just today the CNBC head of news reported the belief that Obama's re-election would be guaranteed by the actions of the Fed. So why the concern about the health of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer? Could it be that Kennedy doesn't quite (GASP!) believe in the political invincibility of the Lightworker?

Apparently such "heretical" thoughts must have occurred to Professor Kennedy judging by his New Republic article in which he urges the two aging justices to retire now because of the inference that they could die during a Republican administration elected next year and be replaced by (EEK!) conservatives. Of course, Kennedy tries, not too successfully, to be delicate in his suggestion:

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer should soon retire. That would be the responsible thing for them to do. Both have served with distinction on the Supreme Court for a substantial period of time; Ginsburg for almost 18 years, Breyer for 17. Both are unlikely to be able to outlast a two-term Republican presidential administration, should one supersede the Obama administration following the 2012 election. What’s more, both are, well, old: Ginsburg is now 78, the senior sitting justice. Breyer is 72.

Kennedy wonders aloud if such a bold suggestion could seen as being improperly political:

Is such a suggestion an illicit politicization of the Court?

Kennedy answers his own question with this comedy punchline:

No. It is simply a plea for realism, which is often difficult to muster in the face of the idolatry that suffuses popular thinking about the justices and their role in American democracy.

Me make a suggestion that is blatantly political? Of course not. But Kennedy does proceed to undermine his own laughable case about his suggestion not contributing to an illicit politicization of the Court:

If Ginsburg or Breyer (or both) announced retirement at the end of this Supreme Court term (pending the confirmation of successors), they could virtually guarantee that President Obama would get to select their replacements.

...That is why Ginsburg and Breyer need to act soon. If they wait much beyond the end of this Supreme Court term, the Republicans will delay confirmation, praying for an upset in the presidential election.

Kennedy then relays the liberal "cautionary tale" of exiting the Supreme Court at the "wrong" time:

The career of Justice Thurgood Marshall is a cautionary tale. When asked about the prospect of retiring, he remarked on several occasions that his appointment was for life and that he intended to serve out his term fully. We now know, of course, that the end of Marshall’s time at the Court was less dramatic than that but deeply saddening nonetheless. Plagued by failing health, he retired on June 27, 1991, setting the stage for President George H. W. Bush to replace “Mr. Civil Rights” with Clarence Thomas, who has become, ideologically, the most retrograde justice since World War II. It must have been agonizing for Marshall to witness his seat pass to the ministrations of a man whose views on the most pressing issues of our time were so balefully hostile to his own.

So what does Randall Kennedy suggest Marshall should have done? Retire in good health during the Democrat Carter administration or hold out in poor health, unable to perform his duties, until he passed away just four days after Bill Clinton was inaugurated as president in 1993? 

Kennedy bizarrely follows a somewhat ghoulish observation about Justice Ginsburg passing away in office during a Republican administration only to be replaced by a Clarence Thomas in drag:

Now, if Justice Ginsburg departs the Supreme Court with a Republican in the White House, it is probable that the female Thurgood Marshall will be replaced by a female Clarence Thomas.

Finally, Kennedy does not shy away from providing his timeline for the retirement of the two justices:

They should announce their retirements this spring, effective upon the confirmation of successors.

One can only imagine Kennedy's anxiety attacks if Ginsburg and Breyer don't take his unsubtle suggestion and remain on the court, especially if the liberal pundits are proven wrong about the 2012 election. In case that happens, I wouldn't recommend sending Professor Kennedy a copy of "Weekend at Bernie's" as a gift item. It might give him ideas.