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Senior US judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg to stay away from Trump's State of the Union speech

Justice Ginsburg has a speaking engagement 700 km away

    Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Photo: Getty Images)

    When Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening, one senior member of the judiciary will be notable by her absence.

    Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 84, will instead be 700 kilometres away at Roger Williams University, Rhode Island, for the next leg of her speaking tour.

    Other justices have skipped out on the address before so the practice is not unusual, political newspaper The Hill reported, and the speaking engagement had been arranged last summer.

    But Ms Ginsburg has made no secret of her dislike of Mr Trump.

    In 2016 she called the then-presidential candidate a “faker” and said she could not imagine what the country would be like with her as president.

    Mr Trump subsequently tweeted that she should resign because “her mind is shot”.

    She did not attend Mr Trump’s address to Congress last year either, even though she was present for all eight of former President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speeches.

    Born in Brooklyn, New York to Russian Jewish immigrants, Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and is generally regarded to be on the liberal wing of the US Supreme Court.

    She became the court’s oldest member in 2010, when John Paul Stevens retired, but repeatedly turned down calls to step down while the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress so that Mr Obama could appoint a like-minded replacement.

    Appointments to the influential court are generally for life and vacancies occur only infrequently, meaning justices can remain in post for many decades.

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