Had to add this update: Now, she’s officially announcing her intent to fall asleep–on the bench! See this from today’s New Yorker…. Incidentally, she has not responded to this letter.
Dear Justice Ginsburg,
I realize the ironic timing that I sit down to write to you on April Fool’s day but my letter is meant in all absolute sincerity. I have contemplated communicating my thoughts to you for some time and finally “take keyboard in hand” to do so.
You have served honorably on the Supreme Court since 1993 and indeed you will have served for over two decades by next August. During this time, you’ve witnessed some stunning historical events and lent all your years of wisdom and jurisprudence, interpreting the applicability of the constitution on so many cases.
For my part, born and raised in the United States, a graduate of Wellesley College and a Democrat, I am very worried about the direction of this country. Among many cases of concern, the Citizens United, subsequent electoral financing cases and the recent Hobby Lobby decisions are disturbing. I firmly believe that across so many dimensions of government policy, elected officials will, despite their sworn oaths, inevitably be tempted beyond good conscience on their votes—until we have campaign finance reform. Alas, the barometer is precipitously moving in the other direction.
So, on the widest range of issues, it is absolutely essential that we not allow the more conservative influences to dominate the court and at this time, we are facing that possibility. It is for this reason, that with all due respect, I beg you to see beyond your own desire to serve and instead be generous of spirit toward our future. Surely you treasure your rare role to determine how justice should best be served consistent with constitutional intent. But, as a concerned and respectful citizen, I beg you to consider resigning now while President Obama will have the opportunity to install a younger progressive member who can serve the court—as you’ve done—for decades to come. Indeed, I imagine that there will be a battle royal as soon as this process would begin but your gracious retirement would signal to all of us who have a more progressive vision and the broader citizenry, that we must safeguard balance across all branches of government. It is that balance that affords us a true democracy and right now, that balance is perilously threatened in the judiciary. Apart from the changing pattern and current conservative dominance in the legislative branch, we do have one firm possibility of protecting at least one more liberal voice in the Supreme Court.
So, it is with all due genuine gratitude for your service and earnest supplication that I respectfully urge you to consider ceding your crucial seat to allow a replacement Justice to be chosen by President Obama.
With my best wishes,