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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘I can’t imagine what the country would be’ under President Trump

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently offered a surprisingly blunt assessment of Donald Trump.

In an interview with the New York Times published Sunday, Ginsburg implied that the presumptive GOP nominee would do lasting harm to the Supreme Court if elected.

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

The left-leaning jurist also joked that if Trump were elected, it would be time for her “to move to New Zealand.”

Ginsburg’s interview with the Times’ Adam Liptak, conducted last Friday, is striking because Supreme Court justices rarely opine publicly on campaign politics. When justices give interviews to news outlets, it’s typically to promote a book.

But Ginsburg apparently feels no such constraints. She told Liptak that she would remain on the Supreme Court “as long as I can do it full steam,” but also said the next president could leave a significant imprint on the makeup of the court. Ginsburg, 83, noted the ages of fellow Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer.

“Kennedy is about to turn 80,” she said, “Breyer is going to turn 78.”

Ginsburg also weighed in on the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, and President Obama named Judge Merrick Garland to replace him but the Republican-controlled Senate has said it won’t allow a vote to fill Scalia’s until after the election. Ginsburg said it was the Senate’s “job” to consider Garland.

“There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year,” she argued.

She further said that Garland “is about as well-qualified as any nominee to this court.” If confirmed, she said, Garland “would be a great colleague.”

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