Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, claiming her mind is “shot” and calling on her to retire.
In the past week, Ginsburg has made a series of comments about the Republican presidential candidate that were unusually frank for a sitting Supreme Court justice.
“He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego,” Ginsburg said. “How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
In a New York Times interview published over the weekend, Ginsburg said, “I can’t imagine what the country would be ― with Donald Trump as our president.” She also noted that her late husband would have joked that “it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
And last week, when asked by The Associated Press about a potential Trump presidency, Ginsburg said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility.”
On Tuesday, Trump described Ginsburg as a “disgrace to the court” and demanded an apology, according to The New York Times. But by evening, he apparently decided an apology wasn’t enough and called on her to retire.
Ginsburg’s comments have raised eyebrows among longtime court-watchers and even among some on the left, including Democratic strategist and former Hillary Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson:
“I find it baffling actually that she says these things,” University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman told the Washington Post. “She must know that she shouldn’t be. However tempted she might be, she shouldn’t be doing it.”
Others applauded Ginsburg for speaking her mind.
“I think it is valuable for people to hear what the justices have to say on important issues,” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Raymond Pryke professor of law at the University of California Irvine, School of Law, wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “As a lawyer and as a citizen, I’d always rather know what justices and judges think rather than have enforced silence and pretend they have no views.”