Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: I'm Staying Put

Image: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks to law students at Ohio State University to reflect on her years with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday, April 10, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)Kiichiro Sato / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she's not going anywhere as long as she can still "do the job full steam."

The future plans for Ginsburg, who turned 81 in March, have been the subject of much speculation during the past year or so. Some liberal legal scholars have publicly urged her to step down soon so that President Barack Obama -- and not the next president, who might be a Republican -- can appoint her successor.

In a series of interviews and speeches over the summer, Justice Ginsburg has been pushing back at that notion. And now comes her most forceful statement, in an interview with Elle magazine.

Asked if she would consider resigning while President Obama is still in office, she says, in essence, forget it. Here's her full answer:

"Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have? If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see on the court. [The Senate Republicans] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court.

"So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they're misguided. As long as I can do the job full steam…. I think I'll recognize when the time comes that I can't any longer. But now I can."

- Pete Williams