HIGH COURT VACANCY ‘SOON’?…. It may have been a casual throw-away line, or it may have been a hint of things to come. Either way, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg raised a few eyebrows yesterday.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told law students Friday there could be an opening on the Supreme Court soon but didn’t hint at who might be leaving.

Ginsburg, who spoke at New England Law’s annual “Law Day,” said the nine justices only take pictures together when a new member is added. “We haven’t had any of those for some time, but surely we will soon,” she said.

She did not elaborate and declined to take questions from reporters at the event.

“Soon,” I suppose, could have different meanings. Perhaps, Ginsburg meant it as a synonym for “one of these days.” Or maybe she knows something about the near-term future on the court that we don’t.

While speculation continues, be sure to check out Dahlia Lithwick’s recent piece on the kind of justice President Obama should consider for the high court. Lithwick argued that Obama should, in effect, look for a liberal Scalia — a persuasive and passionate visionary with a decidedly progressive worldview. Sounds good to me.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.