Ginsburg Faces Off With Trump
After having taken on everyone from the Pope to prisoners of war, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has now gone after the Supreme Court.
She didn't back down from her statements this week, following them up with comments to CNN that Trump "is a faker," "has no consistency," "says whatever comes into his head at the moment," and has gotten away with not turning over his tax returns. (CNN's Joan Biskupic was in Ginsburg's chambers for research about her book on Chief Justice John Roberts, and asked the Justice about the AP and NYT comments.)
Editorial boards of the Washington Post and New York Times have agreed that Supreme Court justices should stay away from partisan statements that may appear to challenge their impartiality (though WaPo does write the statements are not surprising).
Supreme Court justices, unlike other judges, have the discretion to decide when recuse themselves. Their choice can't be appealed. During the 2004 Cheney case, Justice Antonin Scalia refused to recuse himself, although he'd recently gone on a duck hunting trip with Cheney. Instead, he wrote a 21-page memorandum about his decision to sit for the case, saying "Since I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned, I do not think it would be proper for me to recuse."
Ginsburg isn't the first Supreme Court justice to comment on presidential candidates, as Politico points out.
Most recently, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said to guests at an election party in 2000 that Al Gore's (prematurely declared) victory was "terrible." She soon after voted against Gore in Bush v. Gore.