After saying in an interview to the New York Times that Trump “says whatever comes into his head at the moment” and that “he really has an ego,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has publicly taken back her comments about the Republican presidential candidate.
Following federal law, which requires federal judges and justices to “recuse themselves if their impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” Ginsburg said that judges should restrain from providing commentary regarding politics, although she did not apologize at any point in the subsequent statement.
Ginsburg is aware of her remarks and probably has not changed her perspective regarding Mr. Trump.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” Ginsburg told the Times.
Trump did not take long to strike back and call Ginsburg statements “dumb.”
Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2016
More than just an ‘ill-advised statement’
Although her views may be shared with many, it is not usual that a justice performs these sorts of political remarks, as House Speaker Paul Ryan said that her comments were indeed “out of place.” It is also quite uncommon for a member of the Supreme Court to take back a public statement. Justice Stephen Breyer was questioned about Ginsburg comments, and he said that he would not express an opinion if he had it, referring to the current political scenario.
Justice Ginsburg, a known liberal, has already stated that she would move to New Zealand if Trump were to win the presidency, also noting that she cannot understand how Trump has been able to go on for so long without revealing his tax return statements. It was expected that Trump supporters would critic her views, but Justice Ginsburg did all but stay quiet due to the delicate political situation that the U.S. must undergo over the following months.
Analyst Steven Lubet believes that Justice Ginsburg chose the right path because it would let the Supreme Court to stay neutral in terms of electoral preference. It is worth pointing out that she did not receive any support from politicians nor lawmakers.
Many believe that Justice Ginsburg did acknowledge her mistake with honesty, although it is likely that many of her colleagues share her views in secrecy. Donald Trump has made extensive use of scandals and the media to fuel his presidential campaign. If Ginsburg had let these statements go without remark, Trump could have taken this to a legal position, arguing that a federal lawmaker had publicly outspoken political preferences, thus leading the U.S. legal system to a deadlock.
Justice Ginsburg has been a part of the Supreme Court since 1993, thanks to her designation by then-President Bill Clinton. She is now considered as the leader of the Court’s liberal wing, able to counter the conservative views of Justice Roberts. In 2014, Ginsburg said that she has never seen any political issue appear within the Supreme Court justices, but it seems that Trump’s presidential race has put everyone, including federal judges, on the edge of their seat. Waiting to either stand up and protest or run away if Trump were to become head of state.