Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that she thinks people will see the current period in American history as “an aberration” when asked how she would characterize it.
Ginsburg also addressed the impacts of the international political climate on American democracy and her self-identified role as an advocate on the court during her remarks at Amherst College on Thursday evening – another addition to her more than 10 public appearances in the six weeks since the 86-year-old, four-time cancer survivor revealed she had endured another bout with the disease.
When asked how she thought people would characterize this period in American history, the leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court replied simply, “As an aberration.”
Ginsburg also addressed questions on how she thought the global trend of far-right parties would impact the United States.
“The pendulum goes too far to the right, it’s going to swing back. The same thing too far to the left,” she said. “So I’m hoping to see it swing back in my, in my lifetime.”
Ginsburg cited the recent British Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson couldn’t simply disband Parliament as a “hopeful” sign of democracy.
When asked whether she felt hopeful, Ginsburg responded, “Over the long haul, yes.”
The justice, an accomplished former women’s rights lawyer, also said the Supreme Court does not “have an agenda” – though she still identifies as an “advocate” in her dissents.
“The Supreme Court doesn’t have an agenda of its own,” she said, adding that “it’s a totally reactive institution, it depends upon people bringing cases before us that represent the issues.”
When asked whether it was difficult to switch from being an advocate to a justice, Ginsburg replied, “I think I’m still an advocate.”
“When I write a dissent, as I said before, I’m always hopeful that my advocacy will persuade,” she said, noting that “it’s a smaller audience: There’s only nine of us.”
CNN’s Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.