NYT to Ginsburg: Please shut the hell up

Finally, “Notorious RBG” has gotten too notorious for even the stalwart institutions on the Left. The New York Times editorial board takes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the woodshed for her repeated attempts to provide activism — or at the least, “punditry” — on the current presidential election.


And you just know that it killed the Gray Lady’s editors to headline their rebuke with the lead, “Donald Trump is right“:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling. …

In this election cycle in particular, the potential of a new president to affect the balance of the court has taken on great importance, with the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, other justices are nearing an age when retirement would not be surprising. That makes it vital that the court remain outside the presidential process. And just imagine if this were 2000 and the resolution of the election depended on a Supreme Court decision. Could anyone now argue with a straight face that Justice Ginsburg’s only guide would be the law?

Here’s a better question: would anyone have argued that with a straight face before she made these comments? The answer is yes — the New York Times editorial board would have argued thus, as well as a number of their ideological and partisan allies.

When RBG just issued bon mots on policies such as abortion (like her observation that abortion would curtail “growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of”), the institutional media on the Left could pretend that Ginsburg was only making cultural observations. Now they have to acknowledge that Ginsburg acts and speaks in a nakedly partisan manner, robbing the Times et al of their chief attack line against conservatives who speak out against the court’s bias. Even they have to acknowledge that bias, especially in a contested electoral contest, but also implicitly in any issue on which a Trump administration would have to bring before the court. And let’s not forget that the Gray Lady has served as Notorious RBG’s platform several times in the past. Talk about being hoist by one’s own petard.


Small wonder the editors are all but telling their progressive judicial icon to shut the hell up. To paraphrase an old favorite axiom, it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a partisan than to open it and remove all doubt. Or even better yet, silence is golden, another old piece of wisdom that the Times has belatedly learned:

There is no legal requirement that Supreme Court justices refrain from commenting on a presidential campaign. But Justice Ginsburg’s comments show why their tradition has been to keep silent.

Does this mean that the Times will quit interviewing her? Let’s hope so.

Meanwhile, Trump wants Ginsburg to resign:

Donald Trump called Wednesday for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign for saying publicly that she feels he is unfit to be president. Lashing out, Trump said the 83-year-old justice’s “mind is shot.”

“Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee wrote in an early morning tweet on @realDonaldTrump. “Her mind is shot — resign!”

He’s right about the resignation, no matter the state of her mind. It won’t happen, but Ginsburg should have retired years ago — and certainly had the opportunity for the last seven years to change careers and go into electoral politics and/or punditry. It’s never too late, Ms. Notorious! In fact, perhaps the NYT editorial board can find you a job in the media …


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John Stossel 12:00 AM | June 21, 2024