Anthony Kennedy may have retired from the Supreme Court yesterday at age 82, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t plan on going anywhere at 85.
In fact, Ginsburg said she could envision another half-decade on the court. “I’m now 85,” Ginsburg said at an event on Sunday, reports CNN. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”
Ginsburg will mark her 25th year on the court next term. The “liberal lion” and dry wit dubbed “The Notorious RBG” has been working out with a personal trainer nearly as long, a regimen recently depicted in the recent documentary about her life and the book The RGB Workout. “She is like a machine, she keeps going, she keeps going,” her trainer of almost 20 years, Bryant Johnson, told CNBC. “She can come in there with only one hour of sleep, or two hours of sleep, and she is still committed to doing the workout. There is no excuse. You either do it or you don’t, and that’s her attitude. She shows up.”
Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg is a two-time cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2000 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. Both were caught at early stages and Ginsburg missed no time in court.
In addition to her workouts, Ginsburg’s humanism and way with a tart quip have endeared her to those not normally familiar with Supreme Court justices beyond their opinions: Staunchly feminist, Ginsburg was also the first top justice to officiate a same-sex wedding. The year before, during arguments in the case that legalized same-sex marriage, she referred to civil unions as “skim-milk marriage,” drawing laughter from the gallery. At the same time, she was so friendly with the late, ultra-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia that the two vacationed together. In 2016, she said that if Donald Trump were elected president, she would consider moving to New Zealand, a remark she apologized for, calling it “ill-advised.”
And Ginsburg’s highlight reel might well include a shot of her dozing in the audience during President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, an occurrence she later shrugged off. “I wasn’t 100% sober,” she said, explaining that the justices dined together before the speech. “The dinner was so delicious, it needed wine.”