The Supreme Court Justice who’s made it cool to be Bubbe, get drunk before a State of the Union address, and through her obvious liberal bias, earned the nickname “Notorious RBG” took on Donald Trump.
On Monday, Justice Ginsburg said of Trump, “He is a faker.”
“He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
Of course, Ginsburg is right. But that’s not the point.
Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be above politics–above the fray, as it were. When President Obama publicly chided the Court in his 2010 State of the Union speech for ruling against his preference in the Citizen’s United case, Chief Justice Roberts correctly called him out.
With Ginsburg acting as a loose cannon, the Justices could lose the high ground they’ve always enjoyed when dealing with administrations on both sides of the aisle. The Supreme Court should be free to speak its mind without reference to political winds, and the price of that freedom is keeping its mouth shut in regards to party politics and candidates.
As much as Trump likes to hit back–whether it’s a political rival, or the pope–in this case, he’s correct to criticize Ginsburg.
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
This all started when Ginsburg told The New York Times in an interview published Sunday that she didn’t want to contemplate a Trump presidency, jokingly threatening to move to New Zealand should be be elected.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” Justice Ginsburg told The Times in an interview published Sunday. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” She even joked ruefully about moving to New Zealand.
Trump called that a disgrace.
“I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly,” Mr. Trump said. “I think it’s a disgrace to the court and I think she should apologize to the court. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”
He continued: “That she should be saying that? It’s so beneath the court for her to be making statements like that. It only energizes my base even more. And I would hope that she would get off the court as soon as possible.”
He’s right. It is a disgrace.
If nothing else, Trump might remind us all that politics has boundaries. When presidents, or Supreme Court Justices, cross them, the results can be dangerous. Ginsburg should apologize, or resign.
Of course, if she actually does resign (un unlikely event), in an arctic blast of cold irony, that creates one more reason why Trump should not be the Republican nominee. It might be likely in the next presidential term that Ginsburg will retire, but her resignation now would make it all the more critical to put a Republican in the White House. That’s something becoming a more and more remote outcome with the billionaire dilettante at the helm.