Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is taking heat for recent criticism of Donald Trump — and it’s not just from the Manhattan billionaire and his allies.
Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have skewered Ginsburg, with the Times publishing an editorial Wednesday declaring Trump “right” in the war of words.
“There is no legal requirement that Supreme Court justices refrain from commenting on a presidential campaign,” the Times editorial board wrote. “But Justice Ginsburg’s comments show why their tradition has been to keep silent.”
The Times editorial board added: “Washington is more than partisan enough without the spectacle of a Supreme Court justice flinging herself into the mosh pit.”
Ginsburg has made a series of remarks in recent days to the Associated Press, the Times, and CNN about the Trump candidacy. They were rare if not unprecedented remarks from a sitting Supreme Court justice on a presidential candidate.
“At first I thought it was funny,” she told CNN on Tuesday of Trump’s presidential bid. “To think that there’s a possibility that he could be president … I think he has gotten so much free publicity.”
Trump called on Ginsburg to resign early Wednesday morning over the comments.
The Post’s board wrote Tuesday that Ginsburg’s comments were “much better left unsaid” by a member of the high court:
“However valid her comments may have been, though, and however in keeping with her known political bent, they were still much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court. There’s a good reason the Code of Conduct for United States Judges flatly states that a ‘judge should not . . . publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.’ Politicization, real or perceived, undermines public faith in the impartiality of the courts. No doubt this restriction requires judges, and justices, to muzzle themselves and, to a certain extent, to pretend they either do or do not think various things that they obviously do or do not believe. As the saying goes, however, ‘hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.'”
House Speaker Paul Ryan called the comments “out of place” during a CNN town hall on Tuesday night.
“That shows bias to me,” he said. “Now those of us who are in the elected branch of government who get elected to things, I think that it’s perfectly in the realm.”
Experts have chimed in as well, with some wondering if Ginsburg would have to recuse herself from potential cases involving Trump.
“If there’s a redo of Bush v. Gore, how does Ginsburg not recuse herself, given her Trump comments?” political analyst Jeff Greenfield wrote on Twitter.
Howard Wolfson, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg posted that, although he loves Ginsburg — this was the wrong thing to do.
I ❤️ RBG but I don’t think our Supreme Court justices should be publicly offering their opinions about POTUS candidates.
— howard wolfson (@howiewolf) July 11, 2016
Ginsburg hasn’t backed down from her comments, and other members of the court have remained silent on the matter.
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