Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a rapt audience in New York on Sunday that she hopes to serve as a Supreme Court justice until the age of 90. “I’m now 85,” Ginsburg she said. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”
She has already hired law clerks for the next two terms, CNN reports, signaling she intends to stay on the bench at least through 2020. Given Ginsburg’s incisive mind and well-documented exercise routine (she’s performed the Canadian Air Force workout regimen since she was 29 and can do 20 push-ups), this timeline does not seem fanciful.
Ginsburg, who also referred to herself as a “flaming feminist”, made the comments following a performance of The Originalist, a play about her former colleague, “sparring partner” and friend Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
The Supreme Court justice, particularly popular with liberals, was applauded by bystanders as she entered the Manhattan theater on Sunday, and is currently the subject of a lauded documentary RGB. During Ginsburg’s post-play talk, people clapped and laughed in appreciation of her observations, with one audience member shouting “Yes!”, when Ginsburg described roadblocks she had faced as a Jewish woman.
Asked by the play’s director Molly Smith what keeps her “hopeful,” Ginsburg cited her late husband, Marty.
“My dear spouse would say that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle — it is the pendulum,” Ginsburg said. “And when it goes very far in one direction you can count on its swinging back.”
Watch the trailer for RGB below: