In an interview with our paper of record published to much fanfare over the weekend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked about the election and her erstwhile friend Antonin Scalia:
These days, she is making no secret of what she thinks of a certain presidential candidate.
"I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president," she said. "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that."
It reminded her of something her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, a prominent tax lawyer who died in 2010, would have said.
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"‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’" Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.
A second deadlock, in United States v. Texas, left in place a nationwide injunction blocking Mr. Obama’s plan to spare more than four million unauthorized immigrants from deportation and allow them to work. That was unfortunate, Justice Ginsburg said, but it could have been worse.
"Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us," she said. Instead of a single sentence announcing the tie, she suggested, a five-justice majority would have issued a precedent-setting decision dealing a lasting setback to Mr. Obama and the immigrants he had tried to protect.
Did I mention that her comments were well received?
— Nathaniel Meyersohn (@nmeyersohn) July 10, 2016
@jonathanchait It's more of an anti-endorsement, more having looked into the gaping maw of ick and saying "No fucking way." In her RBG way.
— Sara Marcy (@smarcy1) July 11, 2016
❤️ RBG Letting the world know she's ✌out if Trump wins. "‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.’" https://t.co/0XBBNAS8Vh
— adejire (@adejireb) July 11, 2016
Oh boy. Remember when Justice Alito was "nasty" and "churlish" for mouthing "not true" the last time he attended the State of the Union in 2010, and how his single joke about Joe Biden was totally at odds with "judicial impartiality" and "not befitting a Supreme Court justice"? That was nonsense then, and it's nonsense now. The Court is political, and doing that thing where we pretend it isn't except when it reflects badly on our opponents is a mug's game.
I am not surprised that Ginsburg feels this way or upset that she talked to the New York Times about it—indeed, I am exhilarated. I only hope that she is telling the truth, and that if Trump wins in November, he can appoint successors for her and the late Justice Scalia come January. Getting Ginsburg off the Court early would be the greatest political victory of my lifetime; even the remote possibility that it could come to pass is enough to make supporting Trump, however tacitly, a no-brainer.
I could go on about her record as a justice, the 23 years of appalling logic and manifest legerdemain; but the most salient fact about Ginsburg is that she is, surely, our most eminent living eugenicist. We don't talk about this much in polite company, but, as Mollie Hemingway once put it, Ginsburg is America's "crazy old racist great-aunt." Try to explain away remarks like "Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of" or "It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people." George Kennan would have been proud.
Seriously, Ruth. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.