Ginsburg's Trump Remarks Could Be Problematic

Critics say partisan comments could come back to haunt her
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2016 3:43 AM CDT
Did Ginsburg Go Too Far With Anti-Trump Remarks?
In this May 26, 2016, photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes part in a conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known for being outspoken but she should have kept her thoughts about Donald Trump to herself, critics say. The Supreme Court justice told the AP she couldn't imagine what the country would be like under Trump and joked to the New York Times about moving to New Zealand. Analysts tell the Washington Post that the remarks from the "Notorious RBG" were inappropriate and could end up forcing her to recuse herself from future cases involving a President Trump—or election cases like a potential Clinton vs. Trump recount. "I find it baffling actually that she says these things," says University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman. "She must know that she shouldn't be. However tempted she might be, she shouldn't be doing it."

Edward Whelan III, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, tells the Post that while he's no fan of Trump, Ginsburg's latest remarks are indefensible. "I am not aware of any justice ever expressing views on the merits or demerits of a presidential candidate in the midst of the campaign," he says. Other analysts agree. If Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Clarence Thomas "gave an interview in which they expressed horror at the possibility of a President Hillary Clinton, they'd be savaged by Democrats for partisanship unbecoming a judge," writes Michael McGough at the Los Angeles Times. "Ginsburg shouldn't get a free pass." Her comments, he writes, reinforce the perception that the Supreme Court justices are "politicians in robes." (Nate Silver, like Ginsburg, has predicted a Clinton win in November.)

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