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Thomas Gallatin / June 28, 2017

Republicans to Ginsburg: Recuse Yourself on Trump Case

House Republicans sent a letter to the justice insisting that her past political comments on Trump were compromising.

Fifty-eight House Republicans signed a letter calling for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from hearing and ruling on Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order, a case otherwise known as the International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, due to her anti-Trump remarks made prior to the election. The letter sent to Ginsburg states, “You are bound by law to recuse yourself from participation in this case. There is no doubt your impartiality can be reasonably questioned; indeed, it would be unreasonable not to question your impartiality.”

Recall that prior to the election Ginsburg created no small amount of controversy by publicly expressing her personal contempt for then-Candidate Trump. “He is a faker,” she said. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.” At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called Ginsburg’s comment “totally inappropriate,” adding, “It raises a level of skepticism that the American people have from time to time about just how objective the Supreme Court is, whether they’re over there to call balls and strikes, or weigh in on one side or another.”

Ginsburg’s decision to weigh in on the political race was considered so problematic that it even had the Leftmedia calling foul. In defending Trump’s objection, The New York Times declared, “Washington is more than partisan enough without the spectacle of a Supreme Court justice flinging herself into the mosh pit.” And the Washington Post’s editorial board expressed its own criticism of Ginsburg, writing, “Politicization, real or perceived, undermines public faith in the impartiality of the courts.” The Post’s board justified its criticism by noting the Code of Conduct for U.S. judges which states, “judges should not … publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.”

If Ginsburg seeks to regain any semblance of dignity; if she truly values the ideal of a Supreme Court justice being one who makes judgments without partiality; if she takes seriously the U.S. judges’ Code of Conduct, then she must recuse herself immediately from hearing this case. Or better yet, she should retire.

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