Progressives who are still irate over the fact that a conservative president got to nominate the last two Supreme Court justices may be shocked to find that one of their dearest heroes, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has recently praised Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh as “very decent, very smart individuals”.
Her comments, which were made during a Question and Answer session hosted by Duke Law professor and former RBG clerk Neil Siegel, came immediately after Mr. Siegel told the audience that Supreme Court nominees were no longer chosen for legal ability, personal decency and independence. The last claim is an odd one, given the fact that Justice Gorsuch has sided with liberal judges on the Supreme Court on more than one occasion — even though he was nominated by President Donald Trump.
After telling her audience that she felt both Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh were very decent and smart, Justice Ginsburg explained that she was delighted to have been able to assign two opinions to Justice Gorsuch and one to Justice Kavanaugh. Being able to do this is not an everyday occurrence, and only happened because the two justices senior to Justice Ginsburg happened to be in the minority for these particular rulings.
Justice Ginsburg went on to note that fact that, when she was nominated to the Supreme Court in the 1990s, she was not only known for being a flaming feminist, but was also the general counsel for the ACLU at the time. Even so, Republican senators gave her a fair hearing and many voted in favor of her confirmation. It would be hard to imagine Democrats today extending the same courtesy to a Supreme Court nominee from President Trump — or even a future Republican president.
Justice Ginsburg took matters further, advising her audience to not only tolerate different points of view, but to welcome them. She told her listeners that it was sad when people refuse to talk with those they don’t agree with, because it’s not the way that America is meant to be. The liberal icon made it a point to warn her listeners and current Democrat presidential candidates alike that packing the Supreme Court with more judges in an attempt to thwart conservative influence on the court is a bad idea. She noted that there have been nine judges on the court for a long time, and keeping it at that number is paramount. Packing the court, she pointed out, is blatantly partisan.
RBG’s praise for both Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh will likely turn heads, but it shouldn’t. While Justice Ginsburg is known for being an outspoken opponent of President Trump, she also has a great deal of reverence for the Supreme Court. She has told reporters that all nine justices work well together, and has even singled out Justice Kavanaugh for additional praise, noting that he kept his promise to hire only women to work at clerks after he joined the Supreme Court. His decision had led to a historic first, as there are now more female clerks on the Supreme Court than men.
Unfortunately, mainstream news media outlets haven’t exactly publicized Justice Ginsburg’s comments far and wide, and it’s not hard to see why. They fly in the face of all progressive activist claims that President Trump has ruined the Supreme Court by picking candidates they don’t like.