People should know by now not to mess with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The tenacious 86-year-old Supreme Court Justice has served on the bench since taking the oath of office in 1993, and her tough-as-nails opinions and unwavering battles for equal rights have made her a superstar lovingly referred to as the Notorious RBG.
Even while grappling with some recent health scares (she fractured three ribs during a fall and underwent surgery for lung cancer), she's remained incredibly dedicated to her duties on the bench. She even worked from her hospital bed, opposing restrictions to the immigrant asylum system.
This week she sat down for an interview with NPR in connection with an event for the American College of Surgeons. (Ginsburg will serve as the organization's new president.) She discussed her health and her thoughts on the Supreme Court today, and she pretty much skewered the people who have cruelly predicted that she won't be around much longer. Without naming him, she referenced the late Kentucky senator Jim Bunning, who said after she was diagnosed with cancer that he believed she would die within a year.
"There was a senator, I think it was after the pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I've forgotten, is now himself dead. And I am very much alive," Ginsburg said.
While her comments show she's as sharp as ever, she opened up about balancing work and her health. Ginsburg has said that she wants to retire when she's 90 like her colleague Justice John Paul Stevens, who passed away recently. People have worried that she'll retire sooner when news of her illnesses have featured in headlines, but RBG explained that her career actually keeps her going.
"The work is really what saved me," she said, "because I had to concentrate on reading the briefs, doing a draft of an opinion, and I knew it had to get done. So I had to get past whatever my aches and pains were just to do the job."
Spoken like the boss she is.
Originally Appeared on Glamour