• If she won’t resign, she will have to recuse herself from many cases.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Jan. 18 in Waltham, Mass. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
    July 14, 2016 7:12 p.m. ET

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday she regrets making political statements about Donald Trump and called her earlier comments “ill-advised.” “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office,” the Justice said in a statement. “In the future I will be more circumspect.”

    That’s good to hear, but it doesn’t end the matter. Some songs can’t be unsung, and the comments she made have raised permanent questions about her ability to fairly adjudicate many potential cases. The Justice will need to recuse herself on matters concerning the presidential race, and many that may arise in future years.

    Justice Ginsburg told the New York Times she had essentially prejudged future cases concerning gun regulation and is on the lookout for a vehicle to overturn 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller. She said her “impossible dream” is to overturn Citizens United, a statement that marks her as biased in First Amendment cases that could come before the Court. Justice Antonin Scalia famously recused himself in 2004 in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, a pledge of allegiance case, because he had publicly criticized a lower court’s reasoning. Justice Ginsburg’s declaration is little different.

    When a Justice can’t hear cases on the First or Second Amendments, her usefulness on the bench is diminished, a fact even her fans on the left should acknowledge. We continue to believe Justice Ginsburg should resign, but short of that the Supreme Court can act to send a clear signal to lower court judges that Justice Ginsburg’s political interventions are wrong.

    There is precedent here. In 2004 federal Judge Guido Calabresi compared George W. Bush to Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler and argued for his defeat in a public forum attended by a reporter for the New York Sun. The news report triggered an uproar, and Mr. Calabresi wrote a letter of apology to the chief judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Judicial Council of the Second Circuit later responded with a formal public admonishment for what it called a “clear and serious” breach of judicial ethics. (See Seth Lipsky nearby.)

    Judges wear robes as a display of their commitment to impartiality and distance from partisan politics. Asked Wednesday if he had anything to say about Justice Ginsburg’s comments, Justice Stephen Breyer was circumspect. “If I had an opinion, I wouldn’t express it.” Wisdom Justice Ginsburg is following too late.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-ginsburg-regrets-1468537952

    Posted by Dana West @ 1:00 pm for 1st Amendment, Candidates, Editorial, Issues, Legal Issues, Liberal Logic, National politics |

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