Ruth Bader Ginsburg Just Risked Her Judicial Independence, Her Ethical Standing, and Her Legacy to Insult Trump

July 12, 2016 7:06 PM

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has decided to take a stand against a major party’s presidential candidate in a way that she—and arguably no prior justice—has ever done before. Over the course of several interviews, the justice has spent the last few days hammering Donald Trump for his reckless campaign and outrageous policies, suggesting that a President Trump would pose a serious danger to the republic. Her explicitly political statements set off a familiar firestorm about whether Ginsburg had “crossed the line,” sending the conservative blogosphere in particular into howling fantods. Critics on the left and right have criticized Ginsburg’s comments as explosive, unprecedented, and unethical.

To recap the controversy, Ginsburg’s campaign began with a light jab at Trump in a Thursday interview, in which the justice admitted she didn’t “want to think about” the possibility of a Trump presidency. Then, on Friday, Ginsburg told the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, “I can’t imagine what this plac...

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