Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has offered a mild defense of fellow Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, expressing praise for the conservatives nominated by President Donald Trump and opposed by Democrats.
“I can say that my two newest colleagues are very decent and very smart individuals,” Ginsburg told her former clerk, Duke Law School professor Neil Siegel, at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by the school on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Ginsburg’s comment comes after seeing both Trump justices at work on the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to the bench in October, following a contentious Senate hearing during which he furiously denied a sexual assault allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford, who said he tried to rape her when they were in high school. Democrats also opposed Kavanaugh’s positions on abortion access and health care.
Gorsuch joined the court in April 2017, replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Nearly every Senate Democrat voted against his confirmation, saying he aligned himself with corporate interests and held hard-right views too far out of the mainstream.
Ginsburg, who is revered by most Democrats, said she hoped “patriots on both sides of the aisle” would put an end to the “dysfunction” of the court’s confirmation process, Bloomberg Law reported.
Ginsburg also offered kudos to Kavanaugh in June during a talk at Georgetown Law School, commending him for hiring women for his office staff.
“There is a very important first on the Supreme Court this term, and it’s thanks to our new justice, Justice Kavanaugh, whose entire staff is all women,” Ginsburg said then. “All of his law clerks are women. And with his four women as law clerks, it’s the first time in the history of the United States that there have been more women clerking at the court than men.”