Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Risks Bringing the US Supreme Court into Disrepute

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Risks Bringing the US Supreme Court into Disrepute, by Mark Joseph Stern.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has decided to take a stand against a major party’s presidential candidate in a way that she — and arguably no prior justice — has ever done before. Over the course of several interviews, the justice has spent the last few days hammering Donald Trump for his reckless campaign and outrageous policies, suggesting that a President Trump would pose a serious danger to the republic.

What Ginsburg is doing right now — pushing her case against Trump through on-the-record interviews — is not just unethical; it’s dangerous. As a general rule, justices should refrain from commenting on politics, period. That dictate applies to 83-year-old internet folk heroes as strictly as it applies to anybody else who dons judicial robes. The independence of our judiciary — and just as critically, its appearance of impartiality — hinges on a consistent separation between itself and the other branches of government. That means no proclamations of loyalty to any candidate, or admissions of distaste of any other.

Glenn Reynolds:

[What Ginsburg is essentially saying is:] “Trump is terrible because he shoots his mouth off and has no respect for the sanctity of our institutions, so watch me as I shoot my mouth off and demonstrate no respect for the sanctity of our institutions.”

Trump critics call him a dishonest clown. One reason Trump has done as well as he has is because a lot of people think our institutions are already run by dishonest clowns.