In interviews last week, the judge referred to the Republican candidate as a "faker"
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been forced to make an apology for comments she made on three separate occasions last week. The 83-year-old justice, well known for her liberal stance on the bench since her appointment there by Bill Clinton, has called her criticism of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “ill-advised,” days after describing him as a “faker” who “really has an ego” and “has no consistency about him.”
“I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imagine what the country would be – with Donald Trump as out president,” Ginsburg told The New York Times in an interview that was published in the paper’s Sunday edition. She also joked that she might consider giving up her lifetime appointment to the court and move to New Zealand if Trump takes the White House in November.
On social media supporters of Trump were quick to voice their anger, with the Republican candidate even tweeting that Justice Ginsburg should remove herself from the bench.
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
While a position on the SCOTUS bench is normally marked by a conservative or liberal stance, the justices are normally expected to refrain from making politically biased comments, if only to protect the integrity of the court.
A notorious precedent was set when Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, was spotted by a news reporter cheering for George W Bush on election night in 2000. O’Connor, who was appointed to the court by Ronald Reagan in 1981, also publicly declared that she thought Al Gore’s win in Florida was “terrible.”
When O’Connor did not go on to recuse herself when the Supreme Court heard the landmark Bush v Gore which would ultimately hand the presidency to the Republican candidate was widely condemned in the US.
Now concerns are growing on the Democratic and liberal sides of American politics that if, like in the 2000 campaign, the final decision of a close-run Clinton-Trump election rests with the Supreme Court, Ginsburg may be forced to step back from the case.