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Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 86, dreams of serving many more years

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Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the last justice to leave a private ceremony in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court Monday where the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens lay in repose.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the last justice to leave a private ceremony in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court Monday where the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens lay in repose.

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court Associate Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a message for friends and foes alike: She hopes to serve many more years.

At 86, Ginsburg delivered one of the eulogies Tuesday for her former colleague, John Paul Stevens, the second oldest and third longest-serving Supreme Court justice in history. In it, she recalled telling Stevens on a recent trip to Portugal, “My dream is to remain on the court as long as you did.”

“His immediate response: ‘Stay longer!'” Ginsburg recounted. 

Stevens served more than 34 years, retiring in 2010 at the ripe old age of 90. He died last week at age 99.

Ginsburg came to the court 18 years after Stevens and has served for 26 years, eight short of Stevens’ mark. She is four years younger than he was upon retirement and has survived three bouts with cancer.

In an interview with National Public Radio, the leader of the court’s liberal wing was reminded that liberals worry about her health declining. Were Ginsburg to leave the court during Donald Trump’s presidency, conservatives could grow their majority to 6-3.

Her response? “I am very much alive.”

But Ginsburg did have a warning for Democrats in her NPR interview: She poured cold water on the idea, promoted by liberal interest groups, of adding additional seats to the high court to dilute conservatives’ majority. That’s something President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried in 1937 without success.

“I have heard that there are some people on the Democratic side who would like to increase the number of judges,” she said. “I am not at all in favor of that solution.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ruth Bader Ginsburg to match John Paul Stevens’ time on Supreme Court?

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