On Wednesday the liberal host of Andrea Mitchell Reports jumped to the defense of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her recent comments that Donald Trump is a “faker.” Many have spoken out against her decision to launch a partisan attack, as it is highly inappropriate for a member of the high court to comment on the presidential election. When Donald Trump responded to the judge and suggested she “has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements” about him, Andrea Mitchell had to step in and “set the record straight.”
MITCHELL: And Donald Trump now responding, retaliating if you will, on Twitter and going after her competence, let’s just say he said “Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot—resign!” Well, let's just set the record straight, no matter what the appropriateness of her getting into politics, Justice Ginsburg is one of the brilliant jurists who has recently from the bench read majority opinions, I mean you cover the court full time so you take it from there.
The Supreme Court is the highest in the land and its role as the objective arbiter of the law is invaluable to our democracy. It is extremely inappropriate for a sitting Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States to get into politics. As Pete Williams pointed out, it is “very unusual” for this to happen in modern times.
Would Mitchell and her cohorts at MSNBC come to the defense of Justice Clarence Thomas if he publicly commented on Hillary Clinton’s private server? It’s not likely that the liberal journalist would want to “set the record straight” in his name.
View Full Transcript Here:
07-13-16 MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:02:05 PM – 12:05:22 PM
ANDREA MITCHELL: And here in Washington NBC justice correspondent, Pete Williams. Pete, let me start with you about Ruth Bader Ginsburg jumping into this presidential arena. Unusual. [Laughter] To say the least.
PETE WILLIAMS: Certainly in modern times. You know, probably in the 19th century when politics was a little more bare-knuckled, this sort of thing went on, but in modern times, it's very unusual. And what's remarkable about it, Andrea, she did a couple of interviews and she seemed to every time she did it ratchet it up. She made a couple of statements to the AP, then the New York Times on Friday, the Times story was published Sunday, and then on Monday, Joan Biskupic, who's an author, who has written a couple of books and is writing another one about the Supreme Court gave her a chance to dial it back and instead she turned it way up, calling him a faker, saying his ego drives him. He just says whatever pops into his head and why hasn't the press been proper about his tax returns? So it’s, it is quite unusual.
MITCHELL: And Donald Trump now responding, retaliating if you will, on Twitter and going after her competence, let’s just say he said Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot-resign! Well, let's just set the record straight, no matter what the appropriateness of her getting into politics, Justice Ginsburg is one of the brilliant jurists who has recently from the bench read majority opinions, I mean you cover the court full time so you take it from there.
WILLIAMS: I don't think anyone on the court thinks her mind is shot. Certainly not any of the other justices. And she's certainly not going to resign. So the question here is the wisdom of doing this. And a lot of legal scholars are saying she shouldn't have done this, judges are not supposed to not endorse or criticize candidates for office and the other problem she makes for herself is if there's a question that comes before the Supreme Court, if Donald Trump gets elected, would she have to recuse and indeed if another Bush v. Gore style contest over the election comes to the court, would she have to back out? And remember this is a court that has only eight justices right now. So that would take it down to seven. Which of course would possibly avoid a tie vote. But, you know, she's getting support from people who know and like her, Noah Feldman, says “doesn't everybody have a Jewish grandmother that says these sort of things?” But Dick Durbin the top Democrat in the senate saying maybe she got out ahead of her skis. So there's not a lot of strong support for this among the Democrats and people who ordinarily would like and adore and revere and respect Justice Ginsburg.
MITCHELL: Justice Ginsburg of course appointed by Bill Clinton, and has been a leader of equal rights for women on the court which was her main issue you know in years and years of civil rights litigation.
WILLIAMS: I don't think anyone is surprised to know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would prefer to see Hillary Clinton elected president. So it's not the substance of the remark, it's the idea that she made it at all.
MITCHELL: And the New York Times editorializing against her, interestingly, they’re saying that Donald Trump is right about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – on this one thing.
WILLIAMS: Yeah this is before his tweet about how she should resign. But right in says she shouldn't have said these things.