225px-ruth_bader_ginsburg_scotus_photo_portrait495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreAssociate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has issued an apology over her tirade against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.  A statement was issued today stating

“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

The statements of course were a bit more than “ill-advised.” They were unethical.  Moreover, some have noted that expressing regret is not an apology.  I do believe an apology is in order.  However, the statement makes no excuses and promises to avoid such transgressions in the future.  It should defuse much of the current controversy, even though Ginsburg’s conduct was quite shocking.  With three separate interviews and a well-established ethical rule against such statements, the violation was frankly breathtaking.  I have great respect for Justice Ginsburg but this incident will tarnish an otherwise inspiring legacy on the Court.

Moreover, if this election produces another court challenge like the one in Bush v. Gore, I believe that Ginsburg would have to seriously consider recusing herself.  It would be highly inappropriate for her to sit on such a case after saying that she might move to New Zealand rather than live in a country headed by Trump.

I still hope that the incident will refocus attention on the need for the reform of the Supreme Court. I have long advocated an enforceable system of judicial ethics.  The apology today should not detract from the need to have such a system.  The Supreme Court is the only part of our federal government that has no enforceable ethical code.  This is not the first such violation by a member of the Court. Indeed, a majority of justices have been accused of ethical violations.

I also hope that the incident will force greater circumspection on the part of Ginsburg and her colleagues over their growing public appearances and speeches.  I have been a long critic of what I have called the “celebrity justice” model of the modern Court.  The corrosive effect of such public engagements is evident in the unethical statements made by Justice Ginsburg.


  1. tnash, The woman beating Trudeau wishes he were American, most Canadians do. However, he is French-Canadian. People from France look down on French-Canadians. Well, Frogs look down on all non Frogs, but they are embarrassed by French-Canadians.

  2. Oh my god, bring out the fainting couch. I liberal justice said something that riled up conservatives! Heaven help us!

    Never mind all the comments by Scalia, Thomas, or Alito, not to mention Thomas’s wife.

    In the words of the late, ridiculous Antonin Scalia:

    “GET OVER IT!”

  3. The US has to revolt against its antiquated and dysfunctional political system of electing Kings and soon Queens. The best move would be to slowly morph into a Parliamentary system where the President is the head of the party and could be removed by the party or through a vote of no confidence causing another election. The next move would be to make it illegal for concentrated funding from oligarchs and/or special interests above $10.00 per registered voter-all voters must be registered and present valid photo id-elections must be overseen by the government being elected with free and convenient transportation included when necessary. The next move would be to facilitate the establishment of four political parties: far right, middle right, middle left, and far left.

    We should be electing governments and not personalities. George Washington made this clear when he refused to be appointed King. The present procedure is a ridiculous dog and pony show that even Hollywood couldn’t dream up. If the choice is to be between a King or Queen then let’s admit it we are an oligarchy which is a sort of dictatorship. If the choice is to be between one concept or another then we should elect our local representatives based on that concept and let them elect their leader. This is the more democratic way.

    Americans are whining and complaining, ranting and raving, in the most ignorant of ways. Leaders are seen for their paint jobs and not their abilities. The problem is not in the leaders but in the machinery that presents the options/candidates. What do you expect when the options/candidates are chosen by concentrated wealth and special interest groups, presented in the most vile manner of a three ring circus with no substance included whatsoever, and forced to denigrate each other instead of arguing their positions.

    America was founded through revolution. The people saw a system that did not represent them. Yet here again America has come full circle and is ruled by a form of the same paradigm it found cause to fight. There is something quasi religious going on here, something akin to that which is causing so much trouble in the world today-us or them-no compromises. Perhaps it is time for America to observe more workable models where mindless adherence to the past is scrutinized for its values instead of tradition. Or, is it unAmerican to intelligently observe and scrutinize to adjust, repair, and learn.

  4. “Trumpsters and Progressives are uniting and we will defeat her.” Autumn Never thought that would fly. Progressives that don’t want Hillary will vote third party. Progressives are not for walls and religious discrimination. Now that Trump has chosen pro TPP, pray away the gay Pence, I think you can officially put a fork in that idea.

  5. “…as mental deficiency begins how do you remove a Justice”.
    I think impeachment is the only way to remove a Supreme Court justice.
    Been a couple hundred years or so since that was last tried…the justice was impeached, but I don’t think he was convicted and removed.
    “Job security” is probably an appealing fringe benefit.
    Some justices have resigned as age, mental acuity, etc . limit their abilities.
    I think Ginsberg may decide to do that, after she sees her dream of a HRC presidency fufilled, and manages to stay awake for at least one of Hillary’s State of the Union addresses.

    1. I hope the American people see by now that the Clintons lie. Bill, of course, “I never had sex with that woman…” Then Hillary “a terrible video we had nothing to do with”. Both those lies were to give Clinton and Obama second terms. Comey came as close as he could to tell us the multitude of lies and destruction of evidence. Lawyers would not destroy anything without the knowledge of their client (or her husband).

    2. HRC denied! Now Ginsburg will die on the court in next 8 years, knowing that Trump will nominate a very conservative justice to replace her nasty self. Such a nasty woman, and Trump will trump this bitch like he did Hillary! Long live Donald J Trump! 🙂

      1. Bill Jackson – I am hoping Ginsberg is going to see the hand-writing on the wall and retire. Tomorrow would be nice.

  6. I forgot to add that a specific term of years on the Court (not age) should be determined. Say 25 years. I assume it would mean an amendment to the Constitution, but people didn’t live as long as they do now. Also as mental deficiency begins how do you remove a Justice.

  7. This is the second interview with Ginsburg I’ve seen and both show her lack of respect for the Constitution. In the 1st interview she expressed her desire to change the male Justices minds on Abortion. She is a Justice with an agenda, which means no fair Justice by the Constitution. She should resign. I’m curious about Impeachment. I should think many Democrats would be concerned with her. It shows Democrats get on the Court with agendas. The Constitution does not prevail in their views and that’s bad for the country.

    It started with Democrat Justices and Roe vs. Wade. I think a High School student would understand the Constitution and its dismissal from the Court in the ruling. There are so many ways to avoid pregnancy it’s simply stupid to risk your life when you can avoid pregnancy.

    I would prefer a female Justice speak to young girls about not getting pregnant. You can die during an abortion, you can hemorrhage at home and bleed out if not taken to emergency. Women who have had abortions are higher risk for many medical problems.

    My most anger at Ginsburg is her thought that she knows what’s best for all women. She’s egocentric.

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