Justices Have Free Speech Rights Too

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    Jul 14, 2016 1:25 AM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/07/12/can-a-supreme-court-justice-denounce-a-candidate/justices-have-free-speech-rights-tooMore speech, especially by thoughtful people, is almost always desirable in a democratic society....

    There was nothing surprising in Justice Ginsburg expressing pleasure at the abortion and affirmative action decisions from the last few weeks; she was in the majority in both cases. Nor was anyone shocked to learn that she thought that the court was wrong in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in holding that corporations could spend unlimited money in election campaigns, or in District of Columbia v. Heller, in striking down a city’s ban on handguns. She dissented in both cases. Quite important, she did not comment on any case now pending before the court or say anything that could not already be inferred from her past votes.
    ...

    she simply voiced what countless people, liberal and conservative, think about the possibility of a Trump presidency and no one should be surprised that Ginsburg thinks this too. The judicial code of ethics says that judges are not to endorse or oppose candidates for elected office. But these provisions do not apply to Supreme Court justices.
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    Nor do I believe that such restrictions are constitutional or desirable. The First Amendment is based on the strong presumption that more speech is beneficial because it means we are all better informed. I think it is valuable for people to hear what the justices have to say on important issues. As a lawyer and as a citizen, I’d always rather know what justices and judges think rather than have enforced silence and pretend they have no views. We are in a relatively new era of public statements by justices, and I applaud it.


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    Jul 14, 2016 1:16 PM GMT
    Justice Ginsburg offered herself as the Democratic Party's sacrificial lamb. She knew what she was doing, and she was deliberate in her efforts. She knew she needed to say what must be said because she fully understood the potentially devastating consequences of a Trump presidency. She also knew that she would be crucified for her stance, and her reputation, mental capacity and impartiality seriously challenged, but she was willing to take the risk. All of us will thank her for this in January 2017, after which she will retire, at peace in the knowledge that she had, in no small measure, helped save this awesome country from self-destruction.
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    Jul 14, 2016 2:00 PM GMT
    Why didn't Trump call for Scalia to resign after speaking out against gay people when he was not on the bench?

    Where were the calls for Scalia to recuse himself from deciding gay issues after his hawking his off the wall opinions of us out of court?

    What is this thing called that would give allowance to the out of court opinions voiced by a fat bigot but seek to silence the warnings of a nice elderly Jewish lady from Brooklyn?