Incorrigible RBG

by Ed Whelan

Justice Ginsburg’s fans like to say that you can’t spell TRUTH without RUTH. The same is true, of course, of UNTRUTH. But recent events might particularly signal that you can’t spell INCORRIGIBLE without RBG.

In a fine essay in this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal, D.C. Circuit senior judge Laurence Silberman soundly condemns Justice Ginsburg’s “nakedly political” outbursts last summer. (He also gives me a generous shout-out.)

Judge Silberman’s essay is adapted from a speech he gave at Columbia Law School last Monday. Ginsburg waited all the way until Thursday to take on Donald Trump again, unmistakably if implicitly, as she spoke out on how “welcoming” immigration policies are “what makes America great.”

My point here isn’t to disagree with Ginsburg’s substantive views. As it happens, my own positions on immigration might be closer to hers than to President Trump’s. I instead wonder why Ginsburg is speaking on this topic at all and especially why she is using Trump as her foil.

Imagine that back in 2009 a conservative justice had seen fit to offer his views in public on what real “hope and change” ought to consist of. Wouldn’t there have been media condemnation? Why not now?

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