Last week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke out in a spirit of cautious optimism about the strife that has afflicted American politics in recent years.
“The U.S. Senate was once a model of civility, of good fellowship, readiness to compromise for the good of the public. Today it’s divided sharply — but when I remember back to how it once was, I am hopeful,” Ginsburg said after receiving the World Peace & Liberty Award on Friday, according to The Hill.
She continued: “I am hopeful that people of goodwill in both of our parties will say, ‘We have had enough of dysfunction. Let’s work together for the good of all of the people who compose the nation.'”
Ginsburg went on to lament that the body has been characterized by “a loss of the willingness to listen to people with views other than one’s own.”
Outspoken Trump critic
However, while Ginsburg may decry the problems of division and “dysfunction,” she also has a history of fomenting them.
During the 2016 election, she railed against then-candidate Donald Trump, calling the Republican nominee “a faker” and slamming him for refusing to release details of his finances, according to ABC News.
“He has no consistency about him,” Ginsburg said, asserting that Trump “says whatever comes into his head at the moment.
“He really has an ego,” she continued. “How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
Ginsburg earlier told The New York Times that Trump’s election would have made her late husband want to move to New Zealand.
“I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” the justice added. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Trump shot back on Twitter at the time, pledging: “If I win the Presidency, we will swamp Justice Ginsburg with real judges and real legal opinions!”
Ginsburg later apologized for her comments, saying, “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”