Over the summer, Ginsburg gave a series of interviews in which she disparaged GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, noted the likely impact of the election on the court and expressed her dismay at the possibility that Trump could win the election.
Ginburg’s comments were highly inappropriate for a sitting judge. After substantial public criticism from both her fans and foes, she expressed regret for her remarks. In a press statement, she acknowledged that “my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them.” Echoing the code of conduct for federal judges, she noted that “judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office.” She also pledged to “be more circumspect” going forward (though she would again apologize for public comments in the fall).
It’s bad enough that a sitting justice made such remarks. What’s worse — far worse — is that Ginsburg appears not to recognize that her comments obligate her to recuse in election litigation in which Trump (or his campaign) is a party.
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied an application from the Ohio Democratic Party to reinstate a district court injunction against potential conduct by the Trump campaign that the Ohio Democratic Party believes might constitute voter intimidation. Not only did Ginsburg participate in rejecting the Ohio Democratic Party’s stay application, but also she issued a statement explaining her vote.