Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bashed Donald Trump, calling him a “faker,” among other things. Here’s what she said in various interviews with CNN, Associated Press, and the New York Times:
“He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. 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? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,”
“At first I thought it was funny,” she said of Trump’s early candidacy. “To think that there’s a possibility that he could be president … ” Her voice trailed off gloomily.
“I think he has gotten so much free publicity,” she added, drawing a contrast between what she believes is tougher media treatment of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and returning to an overriding complaint: “Every other presidential candidate has turned over tax returns.”
It didn’t take Donald Trump long to respond to the Justice’s comments, questioning her mental capacity and calling on her to resign:
Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2016
Justice Ginsburg’s comments violated the code of conduct for U.S. Judges:
Canon 5: A Judge Should Refrain from Political Activity
(A) General Prohibitions. A judge should not:
(1) act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;
(2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office; or
(3) solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event sponsored by a political organization or candidate.
Although her harsh criticism of Trump violates the code of conduct, judges are not bound by the code. But Ginsburg still issued an apology in a public statement: “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Ginsburg said. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”
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