Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump called on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign Tuesday night, after the justice called him a “faker” in a CNN interview.
“Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me,” Trump tweeted. “Her mind is shot – resign!”
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 followed Ginsburg’s declaration that “he is a faker.” She reportedly went “point by point, as if presenting a legal brief.” Ginsburg added, “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.”
Before the CNN interview, Ginsburg commented for The New York Times on Saturday. “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, also noting that he would make a big impact on the Supreme Court. “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
Trump was far from alone in condemning these comments. Even those who agree with her harsh criticism of Trump have attacked the decorum of a member of the Court speaking out against a presidential candidate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News that Ginsburg’s comments were “totally inappropriate.” He argued that “it raises a level of skepticism that the American people have from time to time about just how objective the Supreme Court is, whether they’re over there to call the balls and strikes, or weigh in on one side or the other.”
At a CNN event on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed these attacks. “For someone on the Supreme Court who is going to be calling balls and strikes in the future based upon whatever the next president and Congress does, that strikes me as inherently biased,” Ryan said.
But criticism was not limited to the Republican side of the aisle.
“We all know the justices on the Supreme Court have political views. I’m not sure we’re well served by them airing them out in the open,” Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) told Politico.
“She may have got out over her skis a little bit and more forthright and political than she should have been. It’s very unusual,” added Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., I.L.) in the Politico article.
Even The Washington Post and The New York Times criticized Ginsburg.
Next Page: The New York Times’ critique of the notorious RGB, Trump calls her comments “a disgrace.”
“Washington is more than partisan enough without the spectacle of a Supreme Court justice flinging herself into the mosh pit,” wrote the Times editorial board.
“However valid her comments may have been, though, and however in keeping with her known political bent, they were still much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court,” the Post‘s editorial board declared. “Politicization, real or perceived, undermines public faith in the impartiality of the courts.”
The Code of Conduct for U.S. judges stipulates that a “judge should not … publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.”
These criticisms brought some gravitas to Trump’s declarations. The Donald told the Times it was “highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign.” He further added, “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.”
The lone supporter of Ginsburg? Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, newly freed from his presidential campaign. Even Bernie only offered qualified support for the justice, telling ABC news he agrees that The Donald is a “total opportunist,” and arguing that “the record is quite clear that he lies just a whole lot of the time.”
Trump seems alone in calling on Ginsburg to resign, but as he did so only at the end of a Tweet, in his classic one-word dismissal fashion, it may not be considered quite as serious as it would be coming from someone else. The Donald may have only wished to accentuate how indecorous it was for a Supreme Court justice to attack a presidential candidate. If so, he was — at least this once — entirely correct, as suggested by the bipartisan response.