This is not a political blog nor am I expressing any political opinion or bias. As a Body Language and Communication expert, I remain objective and report what I see from a body language standpoint and what I hear from a communication standpoint.
When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg weighed in with her political opinion and called Presidential Candidate Donald Trump “a faker,” I was shocked by her very poor judgement. She said , “I can’t imagine what a country would be with Donald Trump as our president. I don’t even want to contemplate that.” She also said “A faker…He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment.”
Her political statement was of great concern to me as I wondered if this lapse in judgement also affected her ability to be a judge on the Supreme Court and remain unbiased in any of her other decisions.
How could this woman decide on anything that may involve him in the future without being biased? How will she conduct herself should he be elected the next President? What if there was a close race and something took place like it did with the Florida election recount in 200o with the Bush and Gore election, where the US Supreme Court with final ruling, stopped a recount that had been proposed by the Florida Supreme Court ultimately landing in Bush’s favor? If something similar happened in this election, could she remain unbiased? Would she show more favor towards Hillary Clinton?
Another thought I had was whether she was “losing” it or showing signs of dementia. After all these years on the court ,she knows the rules both written and unwritten rules. She knows how to conduct herself and clearly knows that no judge should ever weigh in with their political views. So when Donald Trump responded by saying Ginsberg was ‘ losing it and must be removed from the Supreme Court.” the same thing crossed my mind.
She knew exactly what she was doing with regard to expressing her feelings about Trump. After all, she did three separate interviews about him with news organizations since last week.
Then she received harsh backlash on both sides of the political fence. Democrats and Republicans alike, chastised her and were very upset about what she said in the media. Even Speaker Paul Ryan said that her behavior was inappropriate. Of course she regretted her statement when everyone was against her statement.
Trump said that Ginsberg’s comments were “Highly inappropriate and a disgrace to the court.” He then called for Ginsburg to resign, tweeting “Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!”
No matter what your political beliefs, Trump demanded an apology and rightfully so. Had Ginsberg said the same thing about Hillary, it would be and equally inappropriate comment coming from a Supreme Court Judge.
She didn’t apologize to Trump. Instead, a statement was issued by the court’s public information office, that Ginsburg seemed to agree with the criticism and was reported to have said that she regretted her statement.
The statement said ” 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.”
The key word here is “ill advised.” It indicates she is not holding herself accountable but rather blaming someone else for their ill advice to her. That is very telling in that it is a passive-aggressive action. In making this statement, she is trying to take the onus off of her and place it on someone else who “ill advised” her. Who was that person who ill advised her? Was it someone in the Clinton campaign? Was it Hillary? Was it a fellow Supreme Court Justice? Was it a family member? Was it one of her young law clerks? WAs it her hairdresser?
Saying that you regret your statement is a non-apology. It is very passive-aggressive behavior. Had it been heartfelt, she would have not had the public information office sent out the statement for damage control. Instead, she would have done a presser and appeared throughout the media, just like she willingly appeared when she made her scathing comments about Donald Trump on three different media appearances. So clearly, it was a non-heartfelt apology and PR spin control.
Her statement in my view is a big enough breach of public trust that she should be removed from the Supreme Court or she should resign. Political tensions are high enough without her added fuel to the fire.
People already have concerns and criticisms over James Comey and the FBI’s handling of the State Department email situation. In fact the FBI’s credibility was called into question by many. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s refusal to answer questions directly and speak in double talk also made many question her motives and for many her behavior instilled a lack of confidence in the Justice Department. Many believed that it supported people’s beliefs that the system was rigged. Now, Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s comments added one more reason why so many people may be losing trust in the system and may feel that the system is rigged in favor of one political candidate over another.
This is a nation who uses a system of checks and balances where all three branches of the government are checked and balance by the others. How can this occur if someone in one of those branches is completely prejudiced and biased?
Supreme Court justices should not insert themselves into the elections and communicate about these matters. In fact, the judicial ethics forbids judges from endorsing or speaking about candidates and that includes the highest court in the land. That is why so many are calling for her resignation from the bench.
Once again, there is no political bias here as I would have done the same blog had Hillary demanded an apology and not received it from Judge Ginsberg.