VIA| Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg faces calls from many corners to recuse herself from the high court’s deliberations of President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban order, given her stated animus toward the chief executive.
The Supreme Court set Monday, June 12, as the deadline for challengers to the travel ban to submit their responses. The Trump administration has requested expedited proceedings in the case, meaning a ruling to lift or keep in place a 4th Circuit order blocking implementation of the order could happen relatively soon.
Ginsburg was a very vocal opponent of Trump’s presidential candidacy, disparaging him in the media on multiple occasions last summer.
“He is a faker. He has no consistency about him,” she told CNN last July. “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns?”
When asked by The Associated Press how the Supreme Court might be affected by a Trump presidency, she said: “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”
Days later Ginsburg told The New York Times, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.”
She added that the prospect of Trump as president reminded her of something her late husband used to say: “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
Gregg Jarrett in a piece for Fox News notes that federal law requires that “[a]ny justice …shall disqualify himself [or herself] in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. He shall also disqualify himself … where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.”
Additionally, attorney David Weisberg in an op-ed published in The Hill on Monday writes that the judicial Code of Conduct is very clear regarding Ginsburg’s anti-Trump statements and her need to recuse herself in the travel ban case.
The code states that a judge should not “publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.”
The code further states that “[a] judge … should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”
On July 13 The New York Times editorial board rebuked Ginsburg after her series of anti-Trump remarks, stating that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.”
A day later, Ginsburg issued a statement:
“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.”
Last fall liberal Harvard law professor Allen Dershowitz said that Ginsburg should recuse herself from all cases involving President Trump, given her past statements.
Jarrett concludes his op-ed, “The noble traditions of the Supreme Court will be compromised should Ruth Bader Ginsburg decide she is above the law and beyond the scruples it demands.”