What Ruth Bader Ginsburg said about Donald Trump

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made critical comments about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Getty Images)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made critical comments about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Getty Images)

At a CNN town hall event on July 12, 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked about remarks U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made about Donald Trump, including calling the presumptive GOP presidential nominee a "faker."

The Wisconsin Republican replied by calling Ginsburg biased.

"Those of us who are in the elected branch of government, who get elected to things, I think that that’s perfectly in the realm," Ryan told moderator Jake Tapper.

"But for someone on the Supreme Court -- who is going to be calling balls and strikes in the future, based upon whatever the next president and Congress does -- that strikes me as inherently biased and out of the realm. I think that’s something that she should not have done because I don’t think that that shows that she intends on being impartial in the future."

Calling a Supreme Court justice biased is no small criticism. And it is rare for a sitting justice publicly express opinions about a presidential candidate during the heat of an election campaign.

Ryan’s response leads us to offer In Context, our periodic feature that fleshes out sound bites that get widespread attention.

Here’s a look at what Ginsburg, the 83-year-old justice appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993, said about Trump in three interviews.

One note: The media that did the interviews did not publish transcripts of Ginsburg’s complete remarks. What follows are all of the quotes that were published.

Interview July 7, 2016 with Associated Press

Asked what if Trump won the presidency, Ginsburg said: "I don't want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs."

Interview July 8, 2016 with New York Times

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

Referring to something she thought her late husband, tax lawyer Martin Ginsburg, would have said, she said: "Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand."

Interview July 11, 2016 with CNN

"He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that ….

"At first I thought it was funny," she said of Trump's early candidacy. "To think that there's a possibility that he could be president ….

"I think he has gotten so much free publicity ….

"Every other presidential candidate has turned over tax returns."

(The Washington Post reported July 13, 2016 that the Ginsburg-Trump feud had "gone nuclear," with Trump calling on Ginsburg to resign and saying "her mind is shot.")

Update: On July 14, 2016, Ginsburg apologized for her remarks, saying they were "ill-advised."

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