News (USA)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg hires law clerks through 2020 after Trump calls on her to resign

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: US Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired a full slate of law clerks through 2020, in a clear signal to the Trump administration that she isn’t planning on stepping down anytime soon.

At 84, Ginsburg is the oldest member of the court. If she planned on retiring before 2020, it is unlikely that she would have made these hires.

Above the Law broke the story, and listed the new hires for the 2018 as follows: Katie Barber (UVA 2015 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Owens), Rachel Bayefsky (Yale 2015 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann), Rebecca Lee (Yale 2016 / Wilkinson / Moss (D.D.C.), and Matt Rubenstein (Yale 2014 / Gwin (N.D. Oh.) / Tatel).

Her 2019 hires are listed as: Alyssa Barnard (Columbia 2015 / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann), Marco Basile (Harvard 2015 / Watford / Barron), Susan Pelletier (Harvard 2016 / Garland), and Michael Qian (Stanford 2016 / Garland / Bristow Fellow).

Ginsburg criticized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, calling him a “faker” and charging that he had “no consistency” with what he said.

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” Ginsburg told The New York Times. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Trump called on her to resign.

Ginsburg ruled in favor of marriage equality and observers noted that she seemed skeptical of the First Amendment defense put forward during Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Baker Jack Phillips is arguing that being made to make wedding cakes for same-same weddings would violate his rights in the case, which is still being decided.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, who also voted in favor of marriage equality and is often described as the court’s swing vote, has also hired clerks for 2018, although not for 2019. Rumors were swirling that he would retire, but has said that he won’t retire for “at least” another year.

His hires are: Aimee Brown (Chicago 2014 / Griffith), Alex Kazam (Yale 2016 / Kethledge / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.), Clayton Kozinski (Yale 2017 / Kavanaugh), and Conrad Scott (Yale 2015 / Watford / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.).

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