In candid remarks to The New York Times, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denounced presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and chastised Senate Republicans for failing to confirm Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Speaking with the Times’ Adam Liptak, Ginsburg called a Trump presidency unthinkable, and raised the specter of leaving the country, should the New York billionaire win in November.
“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 told the Times, echoing comments she made to the Associated Press last week. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be, I don’t even want to contemplate that.” (RELATED: Justice Ginsburg Says Hillary Will Be POTUS, Shudders At Trump)
She told Liptak that Trump’s campaign reminded her of a dig often used by her late husband, professor Martin Ginsburg.
“‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’ Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.”
She went on to admonish Republican senators for failing to consider Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Garland, Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was nominated in March, but the Senate GOP remains adamant in its refusal to bring the matter to a vote.
“I think he is about as well qualified as any nominee to this court,” she said of Garland. “Super bright and very nice, very easy to deal with. And super prepared. He would be a great colleague.”
She was less effusive in her review of Hill Republicans, who she says have an obligation to take up his nomination.
“That’s their job,” she said. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”
Ginsburg’s forthrightness is remarkable for a sitting Supreme Court justice, and raised eyebrows among legal experts.
Fix the Court, a Supreme Court watchdog, issued a statement calling Ginsburg’s remarks “unfortunate.”
Canon 5 of the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct urges judges not to “publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office.” The justices of the Supreme Court are not bound by any standing ethical code, and largely police themselves on ethics matters.
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