Members of Congress Demand Ginsburg Recuse Herself From Immigration Appeal In Light Of Past Trump Comments

225px-ruth_bader_ginsburg_scotus_photo_portraitA letter from fifty-eight Republican lawmakers calls upon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself in the travel ban case scheduled to be argued in October.  While there is a fair chance that the case could be moot by October as I previously discussed, a recusal is highly unlikely despite that fact that Ginsburg’s comments were highly inappropriate and troubling.  I have been a long critic of Ginsburg’s public speeches and comments as raising serious ethical issues and undermining the integrity of the Court. However, the Court has long declared itself outside of the enforcement of the Code of Judicial Ethics.  The result is a dreadful record of self-regulation and Ginsburg is only the latest disturbing example.  Ironically, while the media has rightfully raised inappropriate public comments about Trump, it has shown little interest in the inappropriate comments of Ginsburg.

I have long been a critic of Supreme Court justices embracing the era of what I have called “the celebrity justice.”  Justices are increasingly appearing before highly ideological groups and inappropriately discussing thinly veiled political subjects or even pending issues. She previously called President Trump as “faker.”  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a notable recidivist in this type of conduct and does not appear to be deterred by criticism that she is undermining the integrity of the Court.

AntoninScalia I was equally critical of Justice Antonin Scalia for his similar proclivities.  This is also a sad statement about Chief Justice John Roberts. Just as I criticized Roberts for failing to take Associate Justice Samuel Alito to task for his highly inappropriate conduct in a prior State of the Union, I believe that it is Roberts’ role to take a stand against these public appearances of justices where they hold forth on contemporary controversies or criticize Congress or a president.

 Ginsburg has called Trump “a faker” who “has no consistency about him.”  She has said that “I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.”

The letter (PDF) raises a valid concern.  Ginsburg has shown utter hostility toward President Trump and continued to make improper public comments despite repeated objections about the impact of her conduct on the Court.  Yet, the justices insist that they are their own ethical judges and, not surprisingly, they routinely find themselves blameless.

Even if Ginsburg were to consider recusal, she would likely reject the move on three grounds. First, she has not specifically discussed this case or this issue.  Second, under the same logic, she would have to recuse herself from any case raising presidential powers.  Finally, her obvious disdain for the President does not mean that she would curtail constitutional powers or abandon her objectivity on the questions of constitutional interpretation.

Thus, the members are right. Ginsburg has shown a shocking lack of restraint and judgment in making these comments.  If she were a lower court judge, she would be facing a serious judicial ethical complaint.  However, she is one of nine and thus supreme in the view of the Court in matters of legal ethics. I have previously argued against this position but Congress has done little to challenge it.  So, Ginsburg will hear the case and the ethical objections will be treated as mere suggestions to a court that has shown both total discretion and disdain in past controversies.

87 thoughts on “Members of Congress Demand Ginsburg Recuse Herself From Immigration Appeal In Light Of Past Trump Comments”

  1. Justice Ginsburg should be allowed to retire or impeached for the crime of high office of fraud

    as she incredibly purports to retain the capacity for lucidity, coherence and rationality.

    Exhibit A – Photo of Ginsburg falling into unconsciousness during the State of the Union Speech.

    Exhibit B – Photo of Ginsburg falling into unconsciousness during the Pope’s historic address to Congress.

    Exhibit C – Denigrating the U.S. Constitution publicly in a foreign country after swearing to support it.

  2. “the Court has long declared itself outside of the enforcement of the Code of Judicial Ethics.”

    Well, that’s the crux of the problem, isn’t it?

  3. She is not too old and to call her “Granny” is sort of trumpish. Many commentors on the blog here do not like her. Why? Her religion? Her looks? Her age? Her stance on issues? Her friendship with Scalia?
    It is good to have older members of the Court. They have perspective and less fear of saying what they think.
    She was right about Trump when she said those things before his election. Give her credit.

  4. A couple points come to mind.

    First. Why doesn’t JT write this and publish it in his USA column or the Hill instead of burying it here?

    Lastly, with his recent jaunt to the hob knob gala at the court….why didn’t he talk to her or Roberts about this instead of the “Cubbies” chit chat?

    1. Better yet,why not push Congress to pass a Code of Ethics for SCOTUS and include some form of discipline mechanism.Even an advisory function would be far more transparent than the present “ipse dixit” approach.

      1. The Drifter – Congress cannot pass a Code of Ethics for the Executive for the same reason the Executive cannot impose a Code of Ethics on Congress. You remember that separation of powers thingie in the Constitution?

  5. I think the best solution is to simply bring your pet cat into the chamber when arguments begin and when the pet is ordered out, watch simple granny hobble on out behind it saying “here, kitty, kitty.” That or demand she immediately return that doily to the dessert table it came from. That ought to take an hour or so.

      1. “Johnson, an Army reservist whose day job is as a court clerk in Washington, has been training Ginsburg since 1999 following her treatment for colorectal cancer. Ginsburg has said husband told her she looked “like a survivor of a concentration camp” and needed to do something to rebuild her strength.

        These days she trains with Johnson twice a week for an hour each time, doing exercises including push-ups and the core-strengthening plank. She does two sets of 10 push-ups, and not the easier ones where the knees touch the ground. “

      2. Just some book sellers hype. I bet granny couldn’t find her way into a gym and thinks a stationary bike is a wrtiting tool.

          1. Yep, granny’s auditioning for the lead in Wonder Woman 2. Mika never denied her face was her fortune so I’m guessing she was on the surgery train like DT says.

                1. mespo – thanks for the vote of support. 🙂 However, they are only admitting she had work done under her chin, not a full chin job.

                  1. She was not bleeding from her wherever. There is a chin injection now and she probably had that or a little lipo.

                    1. frankly – now you are just guessing. And you were not there so you don’t know if she was bleeding or not?

            1. So nothing our POTUS could criticize anyone for. I think Trump’s gripe with them is that they claim he has untreated Alzheimer’s.

              1. I take that as a “yes.” I just love our “betters.” So pure, so virtuous. So above reproach. They should never be questioned.

                1. Trump is the one that watches them and then flies into rages and tweets. I think he wants to be their friend.

                  1. frankly – if you remember his first tweet in the current war, he said someone told him about it. Then he fired back. It seems Mika and Joe had delayed their vaca so they can continue this war on-air.

        1. Some older people are very fit both mentally and physically. They achieve this through genetics,diet, exercise and some luck. Our seventy year old president is not one of these people.

        2. mespo – the female justices, clerks and staff have their own training facility. You can blame J. O’Connor for that.

  6. I think she should recuse herself, but she won’t. That would take moral fiber that she doesn’t have.

    1. Hey Paul she takes her fiber every day! Didn’t you watch that puff piece on her workout regimen? Metamucil bottle curls is station one.

  7. There is no way any Supreme Court Judge is not biased to the left or the right in some cases. This is known before they go in, before they are born-human nature. What seems to be the point of contention here for Turley is that sometimes the judges lay their cards face up on the table. They are going to vote their way regardless of whether or not they hit the local rags with their opinions.

    1. Above is Isaac’s “yay” vote to the Q: “May KKK member judges hear criminal cases with black defendants?” In the comments section, Isaac adds this wisdom: “It’s all good, it’s only fair, because, you know, all judges already lean L or R.”

    2. This is, I think, the key point. As impossible as it often seems, these folks are human with all the limitations that implies. Any thinking person has a set of beliefs and will act accordingly. Speaking or refraining from speaking in public will not change this reality a bit.

      As it is, conservative or libertarian leaning justices apply a more textualist/originalist approach. This approach will often, produce amenable results. But not always, as Scalia stuck to his jurisprudential philosophy in Johnson v Texas even though he personally despised flag burning.

      Similarly, left leaning justices favor a more expansive view of a living constitution that changes with the times. Ginsburg will likely vote to rule against Trump on immigration not because she doesn’t like Trump. Rather, her dislike of Trump probably arises from, at least to some extent, differences of opinion about how things like immigration should work. Her public statements make no difference. As her friend (despite idealogical differences) Scalia’s public statements made no difference in how he would rule.

      We are making a big deal about nothing.

  8. It’s time to put this old heifer out to pasture. She’s long overdue.

  9. Wait til Trump sees this on the news. Talk about a playground nana nana boo boo turning into a supreme ethical cluster-fu#k.
    The Onion is becoming more real every day.

        1. Roscoe,…
          I miss the print edition of Weekly World News, but there’s still an online publication.
          They broke the story of the Trump/ Russian collusion on Nov. 5, just 3 days before the election.
          See “Putin to Campaign with Trump”, WWN, 11-05-2016.

    1. Translation into standard American English or ….just let it die.

  10. Not to worry–she will probably sleep through all the arguments and even the final vote. Does she not realize she is an embarrassment to the Court?

      1. Roscoe,…
        It may not be indifference….Prof. Benson, like Justice Ginsburg, may just have problems staying awake.
        He generally can’t post more than a few words, or a few sentences at most.

          1. We have been waiting for a couple of years. Are we wating for anything or just yawning

        1. Machine robo clones programmer have that difficulty. needs three in one oil

  11. Tbf, I’ve never understood why judges aren’t supposed to make statements about anything that might come before them.

    Seems as pretend and make believe as reporters who claim that because they don’t vote, they are neutral as to the outcome of an election, and objective reporters.

    “Oh yeah, I was a lawyer, and vigorously defended clients from this and that for 20 years, then god xerself reached down and made me a judge, and now so long as I keep my trap shut I am impartial.”

    There is some high grade Schrodinger Quantum nonsense that goes on that says if a judge hasn’t had her wave function collapsed we will not know her position and her momentum in the future. But judges aren’t quantum particles and I assure you that prior to them saying they dislike Trump, we know they dislike Trump. In the meantime I suspect the judges with integrity upon learning new information, will not be bound by former statements.

    I’d prefer judges speak their minds, then we will have more data and insight into the insane and idiotic decisions they make.

    1. That’s a fair description of the brain dead Judge in question.

  12. The prospective hypocrisy here is, that the courts are hanging their hats on Trumps prior statements in regards to the current executive order that is being challenged before the court.
    Yet Ginsburg did exactly the same thing in regard to Trump’s character and motivations.
    If Trump’s priors statements are a factor here, then a decider of the controversy’s prior statements must be also under the same scrutiny.

  13. Off Topic but news from the ISIS front.

    Government forces in Mosul reportedly are only a few days away from defeating ISIS in the city, which are mostly confined in the old quarter.

    But in a setback, the terror group seized a large amount of military materiel via a surprise attack on Iraqi Military forces at the Jordanian and Syrian borders.

    In Raqqa, Syria the Kurds surrounded all escape routes for ISIS and made considerable gains, though this will turn into a bloody operation in that over 100,000 civilians reportedly are trapped in the city.

    We should probably expect to see an export of terrorism in the area as ISIS melts from the front line and metastasizes in small cells elsewhere.

    1. If you want some off topic news, read this:

      https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

      > On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

      > The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

      > Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. “None of this makes any sense,” one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. “We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.“

      If true, I think this is the most dangerous and stupidest act of Trump’s presidency

      1. Tactical decisions are almost always best left to the military. Politicians cause more trouble at this level than they help.

        1. Especially when Trump calls up his pal Putin and warns him about the attack.

      2. Got any valid sources. That is a Conservative Newspaper and in Germany Conservative translates into National Socialism.

    2. One report has them regrouping to the east and included Philippines. But remind me what were the two cities that they had to control to remain valid according to Caliphate mythology? None of them were named Melt Across the Border as I recall.

  14. She reminds me of the great aunt, invited over for Thanksgiving, who passes gas the whole evening, while, simultaneously asking for more whipped sweet potatoes.

  15. I’m going to order a Voodoo doll off Amazon, write “Ruth G” on it, and stick pins in it. That seems a more practical approach then expecting the old biddy to recuse herself.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  16. That fossil threatened to move if Trump became President. She seems to have forgotten that statement, not to mention, she appears to have no recall of the time and date of her last solid bm. Time for the ole shrew to hit the road.

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