Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Laments SCOTUS Confirmation Process: ‘A Highly Partisan Show’
On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke on a host of topics related to her life and career, as well as today’s politics, in an appearance at George Washington University. She condemned the increasingly partisan nature of the confirmation process, And for that, she knows just who to blame.
Former Ginsburg clerk and current California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu asked Justice Ginsburg about the difference between how things work now, versus when she was confirmed.
“How would you compare the process that you went through,” he asked, “with what’s going on today in that process?”
“The way it was, was right,” Ginsburg replied. “The way it is, is wrong.” The crowd applauded loudly.
“The atmosphere in 93, was truly bipartisan. The vote on my confirmation was 96 to 3, even though I had spent about ten years of my life litigating cases under the auspices of the ACLU.. and I was on the ACLU board and one of their general counsels,” she said. “My White House handlers asked me questions about my ACLU affiliation, they were very nervous about it. And I said forget it, just forget it, there’s nothing you can do that would lead me badmouth the ACLU.”
“And not a single question, no Senator asked me any question, not about that,” she continued. “It was the same for Justice Breyer who was nominated a year later.”
“Or think of Justice Scalia, who was certainly a known character in, what was it, 1986,” she said. “He had been a law professor and written many things, he had been on the D.C. circuit. The vote was unanimous. Every democrat, every republican voted for him.”
“That is the way it should be, instead of what it’s become, which is a highly partisan show,” Ginsburg said.
“The republicans move in lockstep, so do democrats,” said Justice Ginsburg, blaming both parties for the partisan atmosphere. A shared blame now, just as she offered shared praise for both parties in her own confirmation and that of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Already, if you search social media, you will find Republicans saying Ginsburg’s comments prove Democrats are acting in bad faith, and you will find Democrats saying the exact same thing of Republicans. Like John McCain‘s parting advice about bipartisan efforts, the appeal to compromise and cooperation is itself used as a partisan club.
“I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was,” said Justice Ginsburg.
Watch the clip above, courtesy of C-SPAN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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