As yet more proof that this is the strangest election season ever, Donald Trump has called on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign following her CNN interview criticizing the presumptive Republican nominee. Writing on Twitter, Trump claimed the 83-year-old’s ‘mind is shot’ because of her ‘very dumb political statements’.
Justice Ginsburg called Trump a ‘faker’ and questioned his suitability to be president in an unprecedented interview with CNN. Supreme Court justices are not legally barred from making public statements on political issues but it is generally frowned upon. The liberal justice appeared to double down on her criticism of Trump following his initial reaction to her comments.
It is also highly unusual for a politician to question the mental capacity of a serving justice and demanding a member of the court resign is practically unknown. Trump has broken new ground in his attacks on Ginsburg, though this follows a recent trend among Republicans to attack the court, especially its liberal wing.
Ginsburg’s intervention in the presidential race was not well received on either side of the aisle. Leading, liberal-leaning newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post published editorials questioning Ginsburg’s judgment, while none of Trump’s political opponents have yet to defend her.
The long-serving justice was appointed by Bill Clinton becoming the second woman ever to serve on the court. She has an international cult following and is the subject of books, fan websites and merchandise. It is unlikely the outspoken feminist icon will be convinced to retract her comments.