Supreme Court watchers keeping an eye on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible retirement

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Supreme CourtJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said repeatedly she isn’t going to retire her seat — this year. But court watchers and legal experts see a caveat in that affirmation and say that may be her way of keeping open the door to a 2015 retirement, while President Obama is still in office.

There are hints galore: Ms. Ginsburg, 80, is the oldest justice. She’s undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. And she’s admitted that justices considering retirement do keep in mind the political persuasion of the president who’s in office and who’s in charge of nominating the replacement, The Hill reported.

Ms. Ginsburg, one of the more liberal voting justices on the court, was President Bill Clinton’s nominee.

And on top of all that, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a recent interview with The New York Times that a “Supreme Court fight could come soon,” as The Hill quoted.

Tom Goldstein, a Supreme Court attorney and SCOTUSBlog publisher, said in The Hill that Ms. Ginsburg’s remarks give rise to the belief that’s she going to step down before Mr. Obama leaves office, in 2015, The Hill reported.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were just appointed. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote, is healthy. Justice Stephen Breyer is healthy, also, and appears to be “having the time of his life,” said Lucas Powe, a court historian at the University of Texas law school, in The Hill. And the conservatives on the court aren’t likely to step down during an Obama administration, he said.

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