Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't want to imagine a Trump presidency

Story highlights

  • Ginsburg didn't sound overly concerned about the possibility of a Trump presidency
  • She referred to the next president as "she," noting that "she will have a few appointments to make"

Washington (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she doesn't want to conjure up the possibility of Donald Trump in the White House.

"I can't imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president," Ginsburg told The New York Times in an interview published Sunday. "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be -- I don't even want to contemplate that."
    Ginsburg, on the high court since 1993, told the Times the prospect of a Trump presidency reminded her of the type of wry comment her late husband might have made.
    "'Now it's time for us to move to New Zealand,'" Justice Ginsburg said.
    Ginsburg's concerns about the presumptive Republican nominee echoed comments made in an interview with The Associated Press published Friday.
    "I don't want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs," Ginsburg told the AP.
    But the leader of the court's liberal wing didn't sound too concerned about the possibility -- referring to the next president with the pronoun "she."
    "It's likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make," Ginsburg, told the AP, a thinly veiled reference to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
    The 83-year-old Ginsburg is the court's oldest justice, but Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer are also in their 70s -- and the potential retirement of the three justices during the next president's term has made Supreme Court nominations a cornerstone of the 2016 campaign. But Ginsburg gave no indication to the AP that she plans to step down in near future.
    Following the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Republicans have refused to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland.
    This leaves the court with eight members, which Ginsburg has said "is not a good number."
    The Supreme Court has emerged as a key issue in the 2016 race, with both Clinton and Trump emphasizing the next president's role in shaping the ideological direction of the high court.
    In a meeting with House Republicans this week, Trump repeatedly stressed the importance of a Republican winning the White House because of the balance of power on the Supreme Court. South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, a Trump critic who still hasn't decided if he will back his party's presumptive nominee, suggested Friday that the issue might be enough to tilt him to vote for Trump, something initially he didn't think he would do.