Thursday, December 19, 2019

RBG: Recusal By Ginsburg?

Hot Air had an excellent blog yesterday on the topic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's many outrageously unethical public statements expressing her disdain for Donald Trump: Ginsburg Hints: Senators Who Can’t Be Impartial In Trump’s Trial Should Be Disqualified.

Yes, she really suggested that--which calls into question her knowledge of the Constitution as well as her common sense. Let's see ... should Dem senators currently running for president be disqualified? One presumes that the fact of running as a candidate against Trump is a forthright statement of partiality.

The blog includes links regarding some of her past statements regarding Trump: She has called him a "faker" and, immediately after the 2016 election suggested it was time to move to New Zealand. Incredibly, in the wake of some of those Ginsburg comments the NYT--repeat, the NYT--ran an editorial, Donald Trump Is Right, in which they stated rather presciently:

And just imagine if this were 2000 and the resolution of the election depended on a Supreme Court decision. Could anyone now argue with a straight face that Justice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?

The point, of course, is that there are currently several pending cases involving Trump and his status as POTUS. Any or all of these cases could wind up before the SCOTUS. Ginsburg would appear to be an obvious candidate for disqualification herself--recusal--in all of those cases. To paraphrase, er, actually to directly quote the NYT:

Could anyone now argue with a straight face that Justice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?

Excerpts from Hot Air:

Why the hell is Ginsburg commenting on a pending legal proceeding, particularly one as momentous as impeachment? There were two different politic answers she could have given instead. One: “Impeachment is between the legislature and the executive. I don’t feel it’s appropriate for a member of the judiciary to opine, even informally.” Two: “I can’t comment because there’s a possibility that some matter related to impeachment will come before the Court.”
But she can’t resist taking the bait on Trump questions, even though she’s learned the hard way how ethically perilous that can be for her.
Justice Ginsburg exercised terrible judgment in this interview,” says law prof Josh Blackman today at the Volokh Conspiracy of the BBC interview below, and not just because of the part where she hints at senators being disqualified. She also goes on to say in response to a comment by Trump that SCOTUS might review impeachment, “The President is not a lawyer, he’s not law trained,” her way of politely calling Trump an ignoramus. Blackman:
Putting aside the propriety of her remarks, Ginsburg’s snide remark is wrong. Walter Nixon v. U.S. left open at least three circumstances in which courts could review an impeachment. Moreover, Alan Dershowitz wrote in his book that there are additional circumstances in which an impeachment could be reviewed in Court. Agree or disagree with these positions, Ginsburg was rude and arrogant to suggest that Trump’s views should be dismissed due to his lack of legal training.
Moreover, Ginsburg’s comments are even worse, in light of the President’s unique station in our Republic. The President is charged with taking an oath to that Constitution. To say the President doesn’t even understand the document he is charged with faithfully executing the Constitution, is to say the President cannot comply with that oath. (I think a lot of judicial decisions we’ve seen are quietly motivated by what Ginsburg publicly stated.)


  1. Maybe she knows something that we don't? (that her time is short)
    We can only hope that is why she is being so blunt. :-)

  2. I've always referred to her as Ruth Bader-Meinhof