Following a decision Monday by the Supreme Court to allow portions of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to be enacted until the justices review the case in its entirety this fall, a number of prominent Republicans have called for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from the case.
Fifty-eight House Republicans signed a letter to Ginsburg calling attention to her “public criticism of Donald Trump during the campaign,” as well as the denunciation she has received in the media for her “conduct.”
In a July 2016 editorial, The New York Times took Ginsburg to task for her statements, noting that by disparaging Trump she was only “call(ing) her own commitment to impartiality into question.”
The justice later apologized for her comments, though the letter House Republicans sent cited both The Times’ editorial and another piece criticizing her in The Washington Post.
Regarding the travel ban case, the legislators pointed out that “(T)he case places the personal credibility of President Trump directly at issue.”
A lower court concluded that the Trump administration had not been honest about its true motives for implementing the ban on immigration from terror-prone nations. Using allegedly anti-Muslim statements made by the president on the campaign trail, the court argued that the ban was rooted in discrimination, not a desire to enhance national security.
Given the case’s connection to the president’s campaign statements, which Ginsburg herself has criticized, the legislators therefore believe it would be unethical and perhaps even illegal for her to not recuse herself.
“You are bound by law to recuse yourself from participation in this case,” the letter continued.
“There is no doubt that your impartiality can be reasonably questioned; indeed, it would be unreasonable not to question your impartiality. Your participation in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project would violate the law and undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
By Tuesday the justice had not responded to the letter.