Bench Memos

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Still Doesn’t Get It

Being Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg means never having to say you’re sorry. 

Today, after the firestorm caused by her comments in three – three – recent interviews in which she speculated about how some justices would vote, breached the confidentiality of the Supreme Court conference, and even telegraphed how she would vote in future cases, Ginsburg issued the most tepid of apologies today: “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

It’s too little too late from a justice who politicized her job at the Supreme Court long before she launched her career in punditry last week. Letting the New York Times editorial page dictate the substance of her apology may satisfy left-wing groups, but it can’t undo the damage to the Supreme Court’s reputation for impartiality.

Ginsburg seems truly incapable of recognizing how much damage she’s done. She didn’t say a thing about the other offenses, like her comments on the Garland nomination, spilling the beans about other justices’ positions in conference and her slams on the late Justice Scalia. Her inability to acknowledge the gravity of her other offenses should put to rest the idea that she is anything other than the most hackish of political hacks.

At this point, she might as well hang up the black robe. She’s not fooling anyone anymore. 


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