Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged Americans on Monday to focus on change that is realistic rather than going after more theoretical ideas, such as abolishing the Electoral College.
“It’s largely a dream because our Constitution is … hard to amend,” Ginsburg told a crowd while speaking at the University of Chicago. “I know that from experience.”
Despite referring to the idea as “more theoretical than real,” the liberal icon has voiced her support for the measure in the past. While speaking at Stanford University in 2017, she included abolishing the institution on the list of things she would like to change about society, reported Politico.
“There are some things I would like to change, one is the Electoral College,” she said at the time. “But that would require a constitutional amendment, and amending our Constitution is powerfully hard to do.”
President Donald Trump was notably elected to the presidency in 2016 after winning an Electoral College majority, however, he lost the country’s popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.
Ginsburg faced widespread blowback after she revealed her concerns with then-candidate Trump.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imaging what the country would be – with Donald Trump as our president,” she said during an interview. “For the country, it could be for years. For the court, it could be – I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Ginsburg later apologized and has since expressed admiration for both of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Ginsburg’s remarks come as a slew of Democrats have called to abolish the Electoral College and change the United States’ voting system to elect the president based on the popular vote.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) notably mocked the Electoral College while traveling through rural Iowa.
“We’re coming to you live from the Electoral College,” she said on an Instagram Live story as she recorded an empty desert highway. “Many votes here as you can see – [it’s a] very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean, I can’t think of any other way, can you?”
The self-proclaimed “radical” congresswoman attempted to make several intersecting arguments on why the Electoral College should be abolished, all of which were based on the underlying idea that the American voting system is racist and therefore discriminatory against minorities.
“The Electoral College has a racial injustice breakdown,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Due to severe racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color as opposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all are counted equally.”
The New York congresswoman was largely criticized for her misunderstanding of American history and reverting to her often-used claim of systemic racism. Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, however, defended Ocasio-Cortez, stating that the Electoral College should “absolutely” be abolished because it was designed so that “those in power did not believe that working people had the intellectual capacity to directly elect the leader of the free world.”
Abrams has made changing the American voting system to elect Democrats her top priority going into the 2020 election cycle.