Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has crossed over the line, violated the Judicial Code of Conduct and needs to step down from the nation’s highest bench.
In at least two interviews, the court’s most famous liberal has bashed Donald Trump, showing clear partisanship and bias – something unheard-of in the history of the Supreme Court.
In an interview with the New York Times, Ginsberg laid into Trump and a possible Trump presidency:
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” If it did happen? “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,” Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.
That’s bad, folks. And it’s wrong. Judges are prohibited by Canon 5 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges:
(A) General Prohibitions. A judge should not:
(1) act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;
(2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office;
Supreme Court Judges are not bound by these rules, but as The Washington Post points out, they are “exemplars” for the rest of the judiciary.
Then it gets worse:
Just a few days prior, she said pretty much the same thing in an interview with the Associated Press:
Asked what if Republican Donald Trump won instead, she said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”
The Post doesn’t mince words in their analysis of this:
This was a remarkably stupid and egregious comment for a sitting Supreme Court justice to make on the record. Say what you will about Justices Antonin Scalia, who died in February, or Clarence Thomas, but they never weighed in on presidential politics quite like this. The closest example I can find is that in January 2004, during an election year, Scalia went on a hunting trip with Vice President Dick Cheney. That action alone got legal ethicists into a lather.
What Ginsburg did was way worse, though. Indeed, I can find no modern instance of a Supreme Court justice being so explicit about an election — and for good reason.
The Chicago Tribune had similar condemnation:
To say her public comments are unusual is like saying dancing cows are scarce. Supreme Court justices don’t — at least until now — take public stands on presidential or other elections. One reason is that they are barred from doing so by the federal code of judicial conduct, which states that as a general rule, judges shall not “publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office.” They also aren’t allowed to make speeches on behalf of political organizations or give money to candidates. …
This kind of disgraceful behavior is beneath the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsberg should be ashamed of herself and step down immediately.
Er… maybe wait a few months to step down, now that I think about it.