After Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench this week, questions quickly surfaced about what his exit means for the future of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community, whose rights are often on the line in high-profile cases that come before the justices.
But there was one other person the internet immediately focused their attention on: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Kennedy’s retirement sent Twitter into a full panic spiral, as people worried that perhaps RBG, who is 85, might also be planning her exit. Ginsburg is the oldest Supreme Court Justice, and she’s already five years past the average age at which most Justices have retired.
“Protect RBG at all cost!” tweets flying across social media read, with many users promising to send her vitamins, prayers, and even 24/7 security detail. “I’m buying Ruth Bader Ginsburg an Anytime Fitness membership, 10 years of Vitamins, and a lifetime of Smoothies…” one Twitter user wrote. “I’m becoming an organ donor but only if my organs are going to Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” someone else said.
The good news for nervous RBG fans is that she’s still going strong. While many predicted she might call it quits during the Obama administration, the planking heroine of an octogenarian has kept on. She even hinted earlier this year that she hoped to follow the path of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired at the age of 90. According to the Los Angeles Times, she also said that she’s in “very good” health and that “as long as I can do the job full steam, I will be here.”
Plus, there’s recorded proof of her fitness level here, which means Twitter users can rest easy.
While the world went full-blown Liam Neeson in Taken over the Notorious RBG, she was busy reacting to Kennedy’s news like the boss she is. Kennedy, who was considered the Supreme Court’s key swing vote, could throw off the conservative-liberal balance of the bench with his retirement, but there was no trace of anxiety in Ginsburg’s sweet tribute to him.
“I will miss the pleasure of his company at our Conference, his helpful suggestions on circulating opinions, his recommendations of art exhibitions to visit with my chambers staff, and much more,” she said in a statement. “For the good he has done during the 43 years he has served as a member of the federal judiciary, he has earned a rousing Bravo.” She also called Kennedy a “true gentleman, a caring jurist and a grand colleague in all respects.”
What a class act. (But also, please never retire.)