Questioning Ginsburg’s Personal Judgment
By Tony Perkins
If she can nap during the State of the Union, it shouldn’t surprise us when people wonder if Ruth Bader Ginsburg is asleep on the job! Late last week, the 22-year Supreme Court Justice stunned everyone by commenting on same-sex “marriage” — just months before the Court is set to decide it. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ginsburg was surprisingly open about her feelings on the issue, crossing an ethical line that raises new questions about the justice’s impartiality.
For any judge — let alone one on the country’s highest court — to speak publicly about a pending case is an indiscretion that shocked people on both sides of the debate. Fox News’s Brit Hume tweeted out his displeasure: “Justice Ginsburg sounds off on an issue pending before the Supreme Court. Amazing impropriety.” The liberal justice, who had nothing but praise for President Obama, insists that America would come around to the Court’s redefinition of marriage if it did indeed sweep aside every state’s marriage amendment in a ruling this summer.
“The change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. “In recent years, people have said, ‘This is the way I am.’ And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor — we’re very fond of them… (T)he rest of us recognized that they are one of us.” It would not “take a large adjustment,” she claimed, for the country to accept the Court’s radical rewrite of nature’s laws. Before long, she believes, voters would understand having their laws trampled and their state sovereignty attacked.
Not only is Ginsburg mistaken, she’s amazingly indiscreet in flouting what is obviously a premeditated vote on an issue still hotly debated in every corner of America. She and fellow Justice Elana Kagan were already on thin ice where objectivity is concerned, having both presided over same-sex “weddings.” Now, with these latest revelations, the façade of fairness is crumbling.
The only answer, many believe, is for Justice Ginsburg to recuse herself from a trial she has already swayed. A growing chorus of Americans is calling for the justice to do the right thing and step aside. From Washington, D.C. to states like Alabama, voters demanded an end to the courts’ open activism. Brian Brown, head of the National Organization for Marriage, was one of several leaders asking that Ginsburg “comply with federal law and disqualify herself as she is required to do. If she refuses, we will ask Congress to act.”
The controversy seems to have snapped Ginsburg back into line –at least temporarily. When asked a couple of days ago about the case, she replied, “I don’t want to talk about what you describe as gay rights,” she said. “I don’t want to suggest how the court will decide that case, one way or another.” Unfortunately for her — and for America — the damage has already been done.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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