I’m pretty sure not only is this unprecedented but ‘unheard-of’ for an active SCOTUS Justice to openly opine on election year politics. Disgraceful…
No wonder they call her Notorious RBG. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just declared war against Donald Trump, announcing that if he is elected president, she’d consider moving to New Zealand.
It would be a good place for her. I haven’t done a double-blind study, but it’s hard to recall — or find on the web — an instance of another Supreme Court justice diving into politics quite the way Ginsburg has just done.
Ginsburg’s comment came in an interview with the New York Times’ Supreme Court scribe, Adam Liptak. He was so astounded that he warned his readers before he reported her comments that normally justices “diligently avoid political topics.”
Ginsburg, Liptak notes, “takes a different approach.” Then he quotes her as saying in her Supreme Court chambers: “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.”
The justice said something similar to the Associated Press the day before. But it was to Liptak that she said she was reminded of what her late husband would have said: “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
As she said it, according to Liptak, she was smiling “ruefully.”
It wasn’t the only line she crossed in the interview. Ginsburg also daydreamed out loud about overturning the gun-rights case known as Heller. The Times even seemed to want to protect Ginsburg from the fallout from this error of judgment, deleting it from the article until sharp-eyed readers called out the paper and the lines were restored.
The Trump comments are even more controversial. Imagine if one of the conservative justices had said such a thing about the prospect of, say, a President Hillary Clinton. There’d be a cacophony of calls for impeachment. Or at least demands that the justice recuse herself in cases involving Clinton.
So far, Ginsburg’s electioneering hasn’t been met with even a peep of protest from the editorial board of the Times — or any other Democratic Party-aligned paper. Then again, she’s a liberal.
When Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, the left even tried to make an issue of his wife’s job in the Bush administration’s Labor Department. Not only must a conservative judge stay out of politics, the left reckons, but so must his spouse. […]
Red State adds this from very recent thoughts and words of Notorious RBG…
For years they have been portrayed as a judicial “odd couple.” People who were diametrically opposed on most decisions but who had a close personal friendship with one another. Scalia said this in one interview:
“I consider myself a good friend of every one of my colleagues, both past and present — some more than others,” Scalia said. “My best friend on the court is and has been for many years Ruth Ginsburg. Her basic approach is not mine, but she’s a lovely person and a good, loyal friend.”
On Scalia’s death, she issued a statement that, in part, said:
“From our years together at the D.C. Circuit, we were best buddies,” she wrote. “We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation.”
Last week an interview of Ginsburg was published in the New York Times. Most of the attention was devoted to her critique of Donald Trump:
Hidden away was this nugget:
It was a credit to the eight-member court that it deadlocked only four times, she said, given the ideological divide between its liberal and conservative wings, both with four members.
One of the 4-4 ties, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, averted what would have been a severe blow to public unions had Justice Scalia participated. “This court couldn’t have done better than it did,” Justice Ginsburg said of the deadlock. When the case was argued in January, the majority seemed prepared to overrule a 1977 precedent that allowed public unions to charge nonmembers fees to pay for collective bargaining.
A second deadlock, in United States v. Texas, left in place a nationwide injunction blocking Mr. Obama’s plan to spare more than four million unauthorized immigrants from deportation and allow them to work. That was unfortunate, Justice Ginsburg said, but it could have been worse.
“Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us,” she said. Instead of a single sentence announcing the tie, she suggested, a five-justice majority would have issued a precedent-setting decision dealing a lasting setback to Mr. Obama and the immigrants he had tried to protect.
When given a choice between the life of a friend and pushing forward with profoundly anti-American, anti-freedom, and anti-Constitutional policies, Ginsburg doesn’t hesitate to say, “Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us.”