My thanks to Justice Ginsburg for her unethical behavior

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My thanks to Justice Ginsburg for her unethical behavior

The Mask has dropped from Jus­tice Ruth Gins­berg:

Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg says she doesn’t want to con­jure up the pos­si­bil­ity of Don­ald Trump in the White House.

“I can’t imag­ine what the coun­try would be — with Don­ald Trump as our pres­i­dent,” Gins­burg told The New York Times in an inter­view pub­lished Sun­day. “For the coun­try, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to con­tem­plate that.”
Gins­burg, on the high court since 1993, told the Times the prospect of a Trump pres­i­dency reminded her of the type of wry com­ment her late hus­band might have made.
“‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’” Jus­tice Gins­burg said.

Not only did the mask of impar­tial­ity drop she refused to put it back on and dou­bled down:

Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-​known can­dor was on dis­play in her cham­bers late Mon­day, when she declined to retreat from her ear­lier crit­i­cism of Don­ald Trump and even elab­o­rated on it.

“He is a faker,” she said of the pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, going point by point, as if pre­sent­ing a legal brief. “He has no con­sis­tency about him. He says what­ever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he got­ten away with not turn­ing over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gen­tle with him on that.”

As you might have heard this got some cri­tique from Don­ald Trump but it also got a lot of cri­tique from lib­er­als as well:

The New York Times:

Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg needs to drop the polit­i­cal pun­ditry and the name-​calling. …

In this elec­tion cycle in par­tic­u­lar, the poten­tial of a new pres­i­dent to affect the bal­ance of the court has taken on great impor­tance, with the vacancy left by the death of Jus­tice Antonin Scalia. As Jus­tice Gins­burg pointed out, other jus­tices are near­ing an age when retire­ment would not be sur­pris­ing. That makes it vital that the court remain out­side the pres­i­den­tial process. And just imag­ine if this were 2000 and the res­o­lu­tion of the elec­tion depended on a Supreme Court deci­sion. Could any­one now argue with a straight face that Jus­tice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?

The Wash­ing­ton Post

I first wrote about Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s con­tro­ver­sial com­ments about Don­ald Trump on Mon­day. Since then, the sit­u­a­tion has erupted into an all-​out feud, and now the edi­to­r­ial boards of both the New York Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post have weighed in against Ginsburg’s deci­sion to insert her­self into the 2016 campaign…I’ll say at the top what I’ve said before: It’s hard if not impos­si­ble to find a direct ana­log to what Gins­burg has said in recent days. Supreme Court experts I’ve spo­ken to were unaware of any jus­tices get­ting so directly and vocally involved — or involved at all, really — in a pres­i­den­tial campaign.

Slate:

There is really very lit­tle to debate about the ethics of Ginsburg’s com­ments. They were plainly a vio­la­tion, the kind of par­ti­san par­tial­ity that judi­cial ethics codes strive to pre­vent. But Gins­burg, who is a qui­etly canny judi­cial and polit­i­cal strate­gist, surely knows that her com­ments were an eth­i­cal error. That leads to a fas­ci­nat­ing ques­tion: Why would the jus­tice risk her rep­u­ta­tion and good stand­ing — and even her power to hear cases involv­ing Trump — for a few quick jabs at the can­di­date? The answer, I sus­pect, is that Gins­burg has decided to sac­ri­fice some of her pres­tige in order to send as clear a warn­ing sig­nal about Trump as she pos­si­bly can. The sub­text of Ginsburg’s com­ments, of her will­ing­ness to com­ment, is that Trump poses an unpar­al­leled threat to this coun­try — a threat so great that she will aban­don judi­cial pro­pri­ety in order to warn against loom­ing disaster.

To be clear, what Gins­burg is doing right now — push­ing her case against Trump through on-​the-​record inter­views — is not just uneth­i­cal; it’s dan­ger­ous. As a gen­eral rule, jus­tices should refrain from com­ment­ing on pol­i­tics, period. That dic­tate applies to 83-​year-​old inter­net folk heroes as strictly as it applies to any­body else who dons judi­cial robes. The inde­pen­dence of our judi­ciary — and just as crit­i­cally, its appear­ance of impar­tial­ity — hinges on a con­sis­tent sep­a­ra­tion between itself and the other branches of gov­ern­ment. That means no procla­ma­tions of loy­alty to any can­di­date, or admis­sions of dis­taste of any other.

Even CNN’s Jef­frey Toobin was not happy as reported by News­busters:

No, I don’t think there’s any chance she will resign, but I think it’s appro­pri­ate to crit­i­cize her about this. This is not how Supreme Court jus­tices have talked tra­di­tion­ally. They do not get involved in day-​to-​day polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sies. They do not endorse or un-​endorse candidates.

Describ­ing him­self as a “great admirer” of Jus­tice Gins­burg, he then got to the sub­ject of recusal as he added:

And I think there are lots of good rea­sons for that, not least of which, some­thing involv­ing the elec­tion may come before the Supreme Court in a Bush V. Gore type case. And I think she’d have to recuse her­self at this point.

I just think, as some­one who is a great admirer of Jus­tice Gins­burg, she is com­pletely wrong in this sit­u­a­tion, and she should not be mak­ing these kinds of polit­i­cal statements.

And car­toon­ists as well:

A lot of peo­ple are upset about this eth­i­cal violation.

I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a com­plete abro­ga­tion of her duty as a judge on the high­est court in the land and an action unwor­thy of her and her posi­tion. Fur­ther­more it sets a hor­ri­ble prece­dent for the future.

How­ever there is one other consideration.

If there is one thing that any­one who watches the court knows it that any 54 deci­sion will involve a “con­ser­v­a­tive’ jus­tice vot­ing with lib­er­als. You will not and have not seen any of the lib­er­als, Kagan, Sotomayor or Gins­berg being the decid­ing vote for a case going in the direc­tion of conservatives.

Jus­tice Ginsberg’s pub­lic state­ments make it plan for all to see that our lib­eral friends on the Supreme Court are sim­ple ide­o­logues and that their vote on any key issue divid­ing left and right would be no dif­fer­ent if every brief in sup­port of the lib­eral posi­tion con­sisted of the sen­tence: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” repeated ad infinitum.

Ann Alt­house gets it

In the case of Jus­tice Gins­burg, Trump isn’t infer­ring bias and pol­i­tics from what­group she belongs to. It’s a reac­tion to her par­tic­u­lar state­ments. It’s indi­vid­ual. She openly dis­played her polit­i­cal lean­ings and her desire for polit­i­cal allies on the Court and her intent, going for­ward, to use those allies to get to a major­ity that would over­rule cases that rec­og­nize impor­tant con­sti­tu­tional rights — includ­ingHeller, the case that says there is an indi­vid­ual right to bear arms.

And here’s where it becomes clear that the NYT edi­to­r­ial pro­ceeds upon the sec­ond rea­son I posited above, that Jus­tice Ginsburg’s par­tic­u­lar polit­i­cal state­ments are dan­ger­ous and dam­ag­ing to the polit­i­cal cause she and the NYT sup­port. “In this elec­tion cycle in par­tic­u­lar,” it’s impor­tant to keep vot­ers believ­ing that judges will be impar­tial and above pol­i­tics, and here’s Gins­burg “call[ing] her own com­mit­ment to impar­tial­ity into ques­tion.” The Times tries to pass this off as Gins­burg “choos[ing] to descend toward [Trump’s] level,” but she’s not join­ing Trump, she’s prov­ing him right: Judges are polit­i­cal, and that’s a bad thing. Per­haps Curiel didn’t deserve the crit­i­cism, but Gins­burg does, and it’s very irri­tat­ing to the NYT, it would seem, because the Curiel inci­dent was so effec­tively used against Trump, and then along comes Gins­burg dis­play­ing her­self as pleased to be political.

Jus­tice Gins­burg uneth­i­cal behav­ior has pro­vided a valu­able ser­vice to the entire nature by allow­ing them to see that lie that the NY Times and other want to keep hid­den. The ques­tion becomes will the Amer­i­can peo­ple react the way the NYT and the left fears they will?

One can only hope but no mat­ter how they do, rest assured the Amer­i­can peo­ple will get the pres­i­dent and the jus­tice sys­tem we deserve.

Sorta Update: Jus­tice Gins­burg has finally fig­ured out she was not help­ing her cause.

Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg said Thurs­day she regrets remarks she made ear­lier this week to CNN and other news out­lets crit­i­ciz­ing pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump.

On reflec­tion, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-​advised and I regret mak­ing them,” Gins­burg said in a state­ment. “Judges should avoid com­ment­ing on a can­di­date for pub­lic office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

The best part of this non-​apology is it allowed Don­ald Trump the high ground in response:

“It wasn’t really an apol­ogy, but we have to move on any­way. It’s just some­thing that should not have taken place,” the pre­sump­tive GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee said.

It’s just a very dis­ap­point­ing moment for me because the Supreme Court is above that kind of rhetoric, those words. … But she acknowl­edged she made a mis­take, and I’ll accept that.”

The great­est ally Trump has in this elec­tion are the peo­ple who oppose him.


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The Mask has dropped from Justice Ruth Ginsberg:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she doesn’t want to conjure up the possibility of Donald Trump in the White House.

“I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” Ginsburg told The New York Times in an interview published Sunday. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Ginsburg, on the high court since 1993, told the Times the prospect of a Trump presidency reminded her of the type of wry comment her late husband might have made.
“‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,'” Justice Ginsburg said.

Not only did the mask of impartiality drop she refused to put it back on and doubled down:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known candor was on display in her chambers late Monday, when she declined to retreat from her earlier criticism of Donald Trump and even elaborated on it.

“He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

As you might have heard this got some critique from Donald Trump but it also got a lot of critique from liberals as well:

The New York Times:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling. …

In this election cycle in particular, the potential of a new president to affect the balance of the court has taken on great importance, with the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, other justices are nearing an age when retirement would not be surprising. That makes it vital that the court remain outside the presidential process. And just imagine if this were 2000 and the resolution of the election depended on a Supreme Court decision. Could anyone now argue with a straight face that Justice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?

The Washington Post

I first wrote about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s controversial comments about Donald Trump on Monday. Since then, the situation has erupted into an all-out feud, and now the editorial boards of both the New York Times and The Washington Post have weighed in against Ginsburg’s decision to insert herself into the 2016 campaign…I’ll say at the top what I’ve said before: It’s hard if not impossible to find a direct analog to what Ginsburg has said in recent days. Supreme Court experts I’ve spoken to were unaware of any justices getting so directly and vocally involved — or involved at all, really — in a presidential campaign.

Slate:

There is really very little to debate about the ethics of Ginsburg’s comments. They were plainly a violation, the kind of partisan partiality that judicial ethics codes strive to prevent. But Ginsburg, who is a quietly canny judicial and political strategist, surely knows that her comments were an ethical error. That leads to a fascinating question: Why would the justice risk her reputation and good standing—and even her power to hear cases involving Trump—for a few quick jabs at the candidate? The answer, I suspect, is that Ginsburg has decided to sacrifice some of her prestige in order to send as clear a warning signal about Trump as she possibly can. The subtext of Ginsburg’s comments, of her willingness to comment, is that Trump poses an unparalleled threat to this country—a threat so great that she will abandon judicial propriety in order to warn against looming disaster.

To be clear, what Ginsburg is doing right now—pushing her case against Trump through on-the-record interviews—is not just unethical; it’s dangerous. As a general rule, justices should refrain from commenting on politics, period. That dictate applies to 83-year-old internet folk heroes as strictly as it applies to anybody else who dons judicial robes. The independence of our judiciary—and just as critically, its appearance of impartiality—hinges on a consistent separation between itself and the other branches of government. That means no proclamations of loyalty to any candidate, or admissions of distaste of any other.

Even CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin was not happy as reported by Newsbusters:

No, I don’t think there’s any chance she will resign, but I think it’s appropriate to criticize her about this. This is not how Supreme Court justices have talked traditionally. They do not get involved in day-to-day political controversies. They do not endorse or un-endorse candidates.

Describing himself as a “great admirer” of Justice Ginsburg, he then got to the subject of recusal as he added:

And I think there are lots of good reasons for that, not least of which, something involving the election may come before the Supreme Court in a Bush V. Gore type case. And I think she’d have to recuse herself at this point. 

I just think, as someone who is a great admirer of Justice Ginsburg, she is completely wrong in this situation, and she should not be making these kinds of political statements.

And cartoonists as well:

A lot of people are upset about this ethical violation.

I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a complete abrogation of her duty as a judge on the highest court in the land and an action unworthy of her and her position. Furthermore it sets a horrible precedent for the future.

However there is one other consideration.

If there is one thing that anyone who watches the court knows it that any 5-4 decision will involve a “conservative’ justice voting with liberals. You will not and have not seen any of the liberals, Kagan, Sotomayor or Ginsberg being the deciding vote for a case going in the direction of conservatives.

Justice Ginsberg’s public statements make it plan for all to see that our liberal friends on the Supreme Court are simple ideologues and that their vote on any key issue dividing left and right would be no different if every brief in support of the liberal position consisted of the sentence: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” repeated ad infinitum.

Ann Althouse gets it

In the case of Justice Ginsburg, Trump isn’t inferring bias and politics from whatgroup she belongs to. It’s a reaction to her particular statements. It’s individual. She openly displayed her political leanings and her desire for political allies on the Court and her intent, going forward, to use those allies to get to a majority that would overrule cases that recognize important constitutional rights — includingHeller, the case that says there is an individual right to bear arms.

And here’s where it becomes clear that the NYT editorial proceeds upon the second reason I posited above, that Justice Ginsburg’s particular political statements are dangerous and damaging to the political cause she and the NYT support. “In this election cycle in particular,” it’s important to keep voters believing that judges will be impartial and above politics, and here’s Ginsburg “call[ing] her own commitment to impartiality into question.” The Times tries to pass this off as Ginsburg “choos[ing] to descend toward [Trump’s] level,” but she’s not joining Trump, she’s proving him right: Judges are political, and that’s a bad thing. Perhaps Curiel didn’t deserve the criticism, but Ginsburg does, and it’s very irritating to the NYT, it would seem, because the Curiel incident was so effectively used against Trump, and then along comes Ginsburg displaying herself as pleased to be political.

Justice Ginsburg unethical behavior has provided a valuable service to the entire nature by allowing them to see that lie that the NY Times and other want to keep hidden.  The question becomes will the American people react the way the NYT and the left fears they will?

One can only hope but no matter how they do, rest assured the American people will get the president and the justice system we deserve.

Sorta Update: Justice Ginsburg has finally figured out she was not helping her cause.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday she regrets remarks she made earlier this week to CNN and other news outlets criticizing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

The best part of this non-apology is it allowed Donald Trump the high ground in response:

“It wasn’t really an apology, but we have to move on anyway. It’s just something that should not have taken place,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said.

“It’s just a very disappointing moment for me because the Supreme Court is above that kind of rhetoric, those words. … But she acknowledged she made a mistake, and I’ll accept that.”

The greatest ally Trump has in this election are the people who oppose him.


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