Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'Can't Imagine' Trump as President, Says She Wants to See Citizens United and Heller Overturned by Liberal SCOTUS

The liberal justice speaks with The New York Times.


White House /

Have you ever wondered what a sitting justice of the U.S. Supreme Court thinks about the idea of Donald Trump being elected president? Ruth Bader Ginsburg is happy to tell you all about it. In an interview with The New York Times, Ginsburg had the following to say about the prospects of Trump in the White House:

"I can't imagine what this place would be — I can't imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president," she said. "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don't even want to contemplate that."

It reminded her of something her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, a prominent tax lawyer who died in 2010, would have said.

"'Now it's time for us to move to New Zealand,'" Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.

Ginsburg's negative comments about Trump raise an interesting question. Suppose the Clinton-Trump presidential contest results in a Bush v. Gore-style dispute in which the Supreme Court is required to settle the results of the 2016 election. Would Ginsburg need to recuse herself from that case as a matter of basic judicial ethics due to her comments?

Ginsburg also shared her thoughts on which Supreme Court cases she would like to see overturned if the late Justice Antonin Scalia is ultimately replaced by a differently minded jurist. "I'd love to see Citizens United overruled," Ginsburg said. The Times also reported this exchange:

The court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, establishing an individual right to own guns, may be another matter, she said.

"I thought Heller was "a very bad decision," she said, adding that a chance to reconsider it could arise whenever the court considers a challenge to a gun control law.