“IN THE FUTURE I WILL BE MORE CIRCUMSPECT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 14, 2016) — At approximately 10:11 AM EDT on Thursday, Politics1 tweeted that US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg apologized for comments she made on July 10 with The New York Times stating that if Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump is elected in November, “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
After seeing Politics1’s tweet, The Post & Email searched the Internet for mainstream media confirmation of the claim, and, upon finding none, answered P1’s tweet with a question (right). However, within 2 to 3 minutes, we had our answer, as several minutes later, Bloomberg News issued a similar report of Ginsburg’s apology.
The Post & Email then tweeted to P1 its thanks for posting the news about Ginsburg.
The 83-year-old Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton and amplified on her dislike of Trump in an interview with CNN in which she called him “a faker.”
On Wednesday, Trump responded to Ginsburg by calling her mental state “shot,” demanding that she resign, apologize to her fellow members of the high court, and opining that her remarks constituted “a disgrace.”
Some Democrats, echoed by The New York Times and The Washington Post, opined that Ginsburg should not have entered the political fray, while others agreed with her assessment of Trump and felt the comments were justified.
According to CNN, “It is highly unusual for a justice to make such politically charged remarks, and some critics said she crossed the line.” A CNN commentator told anchor Jake Tapper that Ginsburg is “known for her bluntness” but is “not out there the way Donald Trump is out there.” However, the commentator stated in conclusion that Ginsburg’s remarks were “highly unusual” for someone in her position to make.
The Associated Press also reports having interviewed Ginsburg on the same topic.
The Chicago Tribune posted an editorial responding to Ginsburg’s comments in which it stated, “Supreme Court justices don’t – at least until now – take public stands on presidential or other elections. One reason is that they are barred from doing so by the federal code of judicial conduct, which states that as a general rule, judges shall not “’publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office.’”
On Thursday The Los Angeles Times reported Ginsburg’s apology as:
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.
In commentary concerning Bader’s decision to voice her opinions, The Times wrote, “The code of conduct for federal judges forbids them from supporting political candidates or taking partisan stands. But the justices are not directly bound by the code and decide for themselves how to carry out their duties.”
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.
Under “Commentary” following that section, it states:
Compliance with the Code of Conduct
Anyone who is an officer of the federal judicial system authorized to perform judicial functions is a judge for the purpose of this Code. All judges should comply with this Code except as provided below.
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution devised a form of tripartite government incorporating the “separation of powers” doctrine which was intended to preclude any two branches from colluding or any one branch from becoming overly powerful.
Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states that judges can be removed from their posts for failing to maintain “good behaviour.”
The Post & Email was not able to locate an official statement at the website of the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is contemplated that the next president might nominate between one and four new justices to the highest court in the land. Constitutionally, the president nominates federal judges, who are seated only upon the “advice and consent” of the United States Senate.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.