New York Times Editorial Board: Donald Trump Is Right About Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Jess13, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Jess13 Suspended

    Jess13

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    Donald Trump Is Right About Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/o...-right-about-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg.html

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.

    Three times in the past week, Justice Ginsburg has publicly discussed her view of the presidential race, in the sharpest terms. In an interview with The Times published Sunday, Justice Ginsburg said, “I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” joking that if her husband were alive, he might have said, “It’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

    Earlier, in an interview with The Associated Press that appeared on Friday, when asked to consider a Trump victory, Justice Ginsburg replied, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”

    On Monday Justice Ginsburg doubled down, calling Mr. Trump “a faker,” who “has no consistency about him.” In that interview, with CNN, she added: “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.”

    Mr. Trump responded on Tuesday. “I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly,” he told The Times. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”

    There is no legal requirement that Supreme Court justices refrain from commenting on a presidential campaign. But Justice Ginsburg’s comments show why their tradition has been to keep silent.

    In this election cycle in particular, the potential of a new president to affect the balance of the court has taken on great importance, with the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, other justices are nearing an age when retirement would not be surprising. That makes it vital that the court remain outside the presidential process. 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?

    Mr. Trump’s hands, of course, are far from clean on the matter of judicial independence. It was just weeks ago that he was lambasting Gonzalo Curiel, the United States District Court judge overseeing a case against Trump University, saying that as a “Mexican,” the Indiana-born judge could not be impartial.

    All of which makes it only more baffling that Justice Ginsburg would choose to descend toward his level and call her own commitment to impartiality into question. Washington is more than partisan enough without the spectacle of a Supreme Court justice flinging herself into the mosh pit.
     
  2. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Boo hoo. Her comments were spot on. If Donny can't even take the heat now, how the hell is he supposed to be President?
     
  3. jkcerda Suspended

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  4. zioxide macrumors 603

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    Pretty much.

    If the politicians didn't want to make the court political, they should have held a damn hearing and vote for Judge Garland.
     
  5. Jess13 thread starter Suspended

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  6. steve knight macrumors 68020

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  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Your first problem was listening to political commentators. ;)
     
  8. Jess13 thread starter Suspended

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    That may be true, and it may not. But regardless, you have both the liberal-leaning New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards denouncing her.


    Justice Ginsburg’s inappropriate comments on Donald Trump

    Editorial Board

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...1df404-4862-11e6-bdb9-701687974517_story.html

    NOTHING SUPREME Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said in recent interviews about the presidential election should surprise anyone familiar with her biography and her career on the court. A lifelong left-of-center lawyer and feminist innovator who was appointed to the high court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, the 83-year-old Justice Ginsburg fits the profile of a Hillary Clinton supporter to a T. Obviously, she would rather have a Democrat appointing her next new colleague, and possibly her replacement.

    Nor were any of Justice Ginsburg’s disparaging comments about the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, untrue, at least not as we read the evidence. When Justice Ginsburg, elaborating on her previous anti-Trump remarks to the New York Times, told CNN this week that Mr. Trump “has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego,” she certainly got no argument from us on the merits. (A brief dissent from the justice on one point, though: She rightly protested that Mr. Trump has not released his tax returns but incorrectly chided “the press” for being “very gentle with him on that.”)

    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. There’s a good reason the Code of Conduct for United States Judges flatly states that a “judge should not . . . publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.” Politicization, real or perceived, undermines public faith in the impartiality of the courts. No doubt this restriction requires judges, and justices, to muzzle themselves and, to a certain extent, to pretend they either do or do not think various things that they obviously do or do not believe. As the saying goes, however, “hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.”

    As journalists, we generally favor more openness and disclosure from public figures rather than less. Yet Justice Ginsburg’s off-the-cuff remarks about the campaign fall into that limited category of candor that we can’t admire, because it’s inconsistent with her function in our democratic system. Only 16 years ago, a key issue regarding the outcome of the 2000 presidential election wound up at the Supreme Court, whose decision in favor of Republican nominee George W. Bush, backed by five conservative Republican appointees, was regarded as controversial by many and nakedly partisan by some. Think of how that situation would have played out if one or more of the justices had previously mused about leaving for New Zealand in the event of a victory for either Mr. Bush or his opponent, Democrat Al Gore.
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

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  10. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Somebody call the Waaabulance for poor little thin-skinned Donny-boy.
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    I agree with Trump on this. Good thread.
     
  12. tgara macrumors 6502a

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    You guys don't get it. As I posted elsewhere, the concern is that by making public statements about Trump like she did, she is demonstrating a bias which could manifest itself if Trump is elected president and matters affecting the Executive branch or its policies come before the court. No judge should do that, especially a Supreme Court justice. Judges are supposed to be impartial and make decisions based on the law and the facts of the particular case. By publicly stating her views about Mr. Trump, she's displaying her bias and providing support for an argument that she should recuse herself from certain cases if Trump is elected president, not to mention undermining the integrity of the judicial system.

    I cannot think of any SC justice to have ever said such things. What she's said would be a code of conduct violation for other federal judges (viz. Canon Five of the Code of Judicial Conduct that applies to other federal judges prohibits them from making speeches for political groups or candidates or publicly endorsing or opposing a candidate for public office). Oddly, however, SCOTUS does not have its own Code of Conduct (and it needs one IMHO).
     
  13. Renzatic Suspended

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    Per my link above, it's a fairly occasional thing, but hardly unheard of.

    And when it does happen, it seems the usual response is what we're seeing now.
     
  14. Technarchy macrumors 603

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    SCOTUS in my view is the most honorable arm of the American government. They really should be well outside of public partisan politics.

    Mind you, I think Ginsburg is the one person on SCOTUS who has no business being there, so her opinion in such a fashion does not shock me remotely.

    But the justices really should be "above it" and proud that they are immune to the politics and influence that bog down POTUS and the legislative.
     
  15. oneMadRssn, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

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    John Roberts explained it well recently. I am paraphrasing, but he said that of course the Justices have biases, political viewpoints, and opinions about laws and policies. It's impossible to be a human being and not have those things. The difference is being able to set those things aside as best as possible, and make a correct decision by applying the facts to the law. He gave the example of Obama's Affordable Care Act. He said he dislikes the idea, he said he doesn't think the law should have been passed, he implied that he things it's bad for the country. However, those beliefs did not stop him from writing a decision upholding it's constitutionality and joining other opinions holding the same.

    This notion that the Justices don't make political comments is absurd. They do all the time, it just hasn't been newsworthy until it was about Trump.

    I don't doubt for one second that Ginsberg's disdain for Trump would not prevent her from applying the law to the facts of any case properly.
     
  16. Renzatic Suspended

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    Well, we hope not anyway.

    Though considering the current political zeitgeist, where one half of the country now thinks that the other half are a bunch of dangerous, entitled lunatics, her openly opining so starkly upon a political matter will now make anything she says or does immediately suspect to those who disagree with her.
     
  17. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Meanwhile, Scalia, Thomas and Alito regularly give speeches, aid and comfort to the Federalist Society, a group that works to deliver conservative agenda cases to the Supreme Court and nobody questions their propriety or lack of recusal.
     
  18. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

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    Sorry, I mispoke. Silly double-negatives. Edited my earlier post.
     
  19. Renzatic Suspended

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    Well, I figured that's what you meant, and replied in kind.

    There's very little reason to assume Ginsberg will let her personal feelings get in the way of doing her job. But the mere fact that her bias has been openly admitted to will make some people suspicious.
     
  20. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

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    I think she doesn't care for a few reasons: (1) she knows she is planning on retiring within the next presidential term; (2) those that disagree with her are already forever skeptical of her, it is far too late for her to win over the haters with political correctness; and (3) she knows that none of those statements are actually enough to force her off any cases (see the convervative arm of SCOTUS's reasoning in Citizen's United.)
     
  21. tgara, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    tgara macrumors 6502a

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    There's a huge difference in commenting on a decided case no longer before the court, as Roberts did, and giving an interview to the New York Times laying out her views on an upcoming presidential election. How does Ginsburg imagine that it’s appropriate for her to set forth publicly her strongly negative views about a presidential candidate? Has any justice ever made comparable remarks praising or condemning a presidential candidate in the midst of the campaign season? And how are such remarks compatible with the general judicial duty to promote public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary?

    No, they don't. While its obvious that judges hold political views and beliefs, they are bound by a code of ethical conduct, including avoiding even the appearance of bias or impartiality. Such conduct, and the conduct that Ginsburg has increasingly been demonstrating damages the judiciary for everyone. Some parties will believe they will not be treated fairly and impartially based on her comments.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/455

    I used to believe that, but in light of her public comments on pending matters over the last couple years, I don't anymore. At her confirmation hearing in 1993, Ginsburg repeatedly explained that the judicial obligation of impartiality required that she give “no hints, no forecasts, no previews” about how she might “vote on questions the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide.” She said:

    Sadly, it's clear that Ginsburg is no longer following her own rules.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2016 ---
    Yep, as do Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. The difference is that they don't talk about pending matters or matters which could come before the court. You need a better understanding of the role the judiciary plays in our system of government. But don't let that stop you from pushing your own biases.

    Here's Breyer's book on Amazon

    https://www.amazon.com/Court-World-...qid=1468452425&sr=8-1&keywords=stephen+breyer

    Would you call this biased or inappropriate?
     
  22. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

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    #22
    First, just because her remarks are unprecedented (which they are not) does not make them wrong or improper. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Trump has been spewing outrageous views that in my opinion should disqualify him from being an American, let alone the president of the US. Yet he is still qualified in many people's views.

    Second, look at her remarks. What did she actually say? She expressed disdain for a single person, and it seems her basis was confined to personal observation only. She did not say anything about political parties, she did not say anything about his policies, she did not say anything at all that would indicate her future conduct. She did not say anything about future votes. It's all entire hypothetical at this point, Trump is not president yet, and there is no Trump policy question before the court.

    Third, those ethical rules don't actually provide a basis to disqualify her. As you quoted, she must recuse where her "impartiality might reasonably be questioned," or "where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding." So she would have to recuse herself from cases where Trump is a party in his personal capacity. So, she would have to recuse herself if any of the numerous lawsuits Trump is involved with right now make it to SCOTUS. Where he is the named party as representing the executive branch (in any case, usually the AG is the one named in those cases), I don't think she would have to recuse herself. The other factor, personal knowledge of disputed fact, does not apply, unless we stipulate that Trump is in fact a "faker," and that is somehow a pertinent fact concerning the proceeding.

    Under what other reasonable basis would her impartiality be questioned? If she said "I think all Republican's are untrustworthy," that would be different. If she said "I promise to vote against all Republican policies no matter what the facts are," it would be different. She merely commented about a dude.

    The rules are not about what the parties to a case might believe. It's about whether impartiality "might reasonably be questioned." Parties are often unreasonable. Most losing parties think the Judge was biased (see Trump's comments a few weeks ago).

    I think legal ethicists will debate this for a long time, many law review articles will be written on it. That said, I think the overall consensus will be it was in poor taste but not prohibited by the rules of ethics.
     
  23. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Ginsburg didn't talk about pending matters or matters which could come before the court. Your complaint is she expressed opinion about a party that may come before the court. How is that different from expressing support for Federalist Society lawyers who may come before the court?
     
  24. tgara macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I would refer you back to the Code of Judicial Conduct I posted earlier which states when disqualification should occur

    In view of Ginsburg's comments, I think many people would reasonably conclude that her impartiality concerning Trump or a Trump administration policy or matter might be reasonably questioned, and that her comments demonstrate a clear personal bias or prejudice.

    Judges have to be careful about what they say. It's one thing to talk to a bunch of lawyers or law students about legal theories or interpretations, or give lectures on the law, or things of that sort. They do that all the time, and I've attended such events. But its another thing entirely to come out and attack a specific individual or policies in the middle of an election when there is a chance that the person could be elected president. Such comments present the appearance of a bias, which is not good for the judiciary.

    Alito got reamed by liberals when he mouthed the words "Not True" after Obama criticized the Citizen's United case in the 2010 STOU. But when liberal darling Ginsburg makes more and worse comments involving a presidential candidate in the middle of an election season, crickets from them. Alito's comment was inappropriate, and Ginsburg's are most certainly so as well. Like the libs like to tell Christians, you can believe whatever you want, just keep it to yourself. ;)
     
  25. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    Spare me the hypocrisy. She answers a few questions about Trump and you lose your ****. Scalia hunts with the VP but he needn't recuse himself from anything. Alito makes disparaging remarks about Obama's reelection and not a peep. Thomas' wife spends her days fighting the ACA and other issues before the SC but Thomas needn't recuse himself from anything. But of course, RBG has a conflict of interest. Do you guys ever listen to yourselves?
     

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