In the early hours of Nov. 9, as stock markets began to rally on the news of Donald Trump’s upset win, there was another dramatic spike afoot. Interest in the bone density and cholesterol levels of an 83-year-old woman from Flatbush, New York, was also soaring.
Many people wanted to know whether two-time cancer survivor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest and perhaps the most liberal justice on the Supreme Court, had enough gas in the tank to outlast the Trump presidency, or whether Trump would get a chance to fundamentally alter the balance of the court by replacing her, a possibility he dangled successfully to entice wary Republicans to vote for him.
As it turns out, the answer to that question lies largely in the hands of a staffer in the clerk’s office of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Asked earlier this month about the most important person in her life, Ginsburg, who was widowed in 2010 and lost a close friend with the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, responded, “My personal trainer.”
That would be Bryant Johnson, 52. You could think of Johnson’s sturdy limbs as a fourth branch of government, grafted onto the judiciary, keeping it aloft. When Johnson is not helping run the District courthouse or fulfilling his duties as a Sergeant First Class in the Army Reserves, he moonlights as a physical trainer to local jurists, including not only Ginsburg, but also Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, two of the high court’s other three reliably liberal votes, as well as several appeals court judges.
Read more at Politico.