Days after liberal Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, she has been told to keep her opinions about politics to herself by a rather powerful force: the American people.
At least, that’s the indication from a new survey published this morning by Rasmussen Reports that was headlined “Voters to Supreme Court Justices: Shut Up About Politics.” Rasmussen conducted a national telephone survey earlier this week and discovered that 67 percent of likely U.S. voters think the aging justice’s remarks “raise questions about the impartiality of the high court.” Only 22 percent of survey respondents think Supreme Court justices should publicly express opinions about political candidates. Eleven percent are undecided, Rasmussen said.
Breaking down the poll results further, 52 percent of liberal voters think high court justices ought to remain mum, while 80 percent of conservatives and 64 percent of moderates say such remarks “raise questions about the court’s impartiality.”
The problems with such public remarks, for which Ginsburg has issued something of a mea culpa, should be obvious. The high court needs to retain the appearance of fairness and impartiality. The 83-year-old Ginsburg’s remarks jeopardized that.
Writing today about the Ginsburg flap, veteran pundit Patrick Buchanan noted that the Wall Street Journal has suggested that she resign. Buchanan questions that, instead arguing that the American public knew what it was getting when Ginsburg was appointed several years ago by former President Jimmy Carter to the federal appeals court. She was elevated to the Supreme Court in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton.
Ginsburg was an ACLU lawyer and feminist-activist when she was named to the appellate court by Jimmy Carter. Her views were no secret to anyone when the Senate confirmed her.
Let us not pretend we did not know. Thus, why should she step down for airing political and ideological views everyone knew she held?
Liberal angst is understandable. Ginsburg is giving away the game.
How can liberals credibly uphold the pretense that Supreme Court decisions, where the left is the majority, represent judgments based on the Constitution, when Ginsburg, the leading leftist, has revealed herself to be a rabid partisan who can’t wait to use her judicial power to impose her ideology upon the United States?”
The next president will likely fill more than one vacancy on the high court. There is the seat left empty earlier this year with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Other members, including Ginsburg, are advanced in age. It would be the ultimate irony to see Trump elected in November, and at some point over the next four years, replace Ginsburg with a jurist of more centric, or even conservative, viewpoints.