Society

Ginsburg Talks Electoral College, Death Penalty

| by Ray Brown

During a question and answer session at Stanford University, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized the polarized partisanship of today's politics and said she'd like to reform the Electoral College and the death penalty.

"I wish there were a way I could wave a magic wand and put it back when people were respectful of each other and the Congress was working for the good of the country and not just along party lines," Ginsburg said, according to CNN. "Someday there will be great people, great elected representatives who will say 'enough of this nonsense, let's be the kind of legislature the United States should have.' I hope that day will come when I'm still alive."

Ginsburg was also asked her views on individual issues, including the Electoral College, which allowed President Donald Trump to win the presidency despite losing the popular vote by more than 3 million votes.

"There are some things that I would like to change, one is the Electoral College," she said, "but that would require a constitutional amendment and amending our Constitution is powerfully hard to do."

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As for the death penalty, she's strongly opposed to it.

"If I were queen, there would be no death penalty," Ginsburg said, but explained that her view is different from those who believe capital punishment is unconstitutional in all circumstances and that she still participates in deliberations of individual cases.

Ginsburg, who at 83 is oldest member of the Supreme Court, which now has four members over the age of 75, according to the Los Angeles Times, was asked who she would like to stay around for as long as possible.

"A lot of people have been expressing encouragement that you eat more Kale -- so to speak -- so that you can continue doing the public service work that you are doing for as long as possible," a student questioner said. "I was wondering, who do you want to eat more Kale in Washington?"

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"Justice [Anthony] Kennedy," Ginsburg said to laughter, according to CNN.

"There are three of us on the current Court who are well beyond what the French call 'a certain age,' so it's Justice Breyer [the youngest] and the two octogenarians: Justice Kennedy and me."

Sources: CNN, Los Angeles Times / Photo Credit: European University Institute/Flickr

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