Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is “hopeful” that the Senate can someday return to “civility” and “good fellowship.”
In a public statement Friday, Ginsburg lamented that the Senate is “divided sharply” along partisan lines and expressed a wish for a return of the days when the deliberative body exuded a “true bipartisanship spirit,” The Hill reported.
Ginsburg’s commentary about the current partisan divide in the Senate came on Friday as she attended an event for the World Jurist Association and World Law Foundation, where she received the World Peace & Liberty award.
“The U.S. Senate was once a model of civility, of good fellowship, readiness to compromise for the good of the public,” Ginsburg said.
“Today, it’s divided sharply — but when I remember back to how it once was, I am hopeful,” the elderly jurist added. Watch:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “The US 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.” pic.twitter.com/587EjylOX3
— The Hill (@thehill) February 8, 2020
Ginsburg’s remarks came in the context of President Donald Trump’s acquittal on both of the Democrats’ impeachment articles charged against him, The Hill noted. With the exception of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who joined Democrats to declare Trump guilty on the “abuse of power” article, the votes came down along party lines.
Before and after those votes, numerous senators from both sides made it known where they stood on the issue of Trump’s guilt or innocence, and there were plenty of partisan accusations lobbed back and forth that questioned their colleagues’ fealty to the Constitution, patriotism for the nation, and motivations for either attacking or defending the president.
Bipartisanship? It’s hard to find
According to The Hill, Ginsburg also suggested that the collective of senators had suffered “a loss of the willingness to listen to people with views other than one’s own.”
“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,'” she added.
Ginsburg expressed similar hopes in another appearance at the LBJ Foundation several weeks ago while the impeachment trial was in progress.
“Now we’ve seen the high degree of polarization in recent years,” she said, according to Fox News. “My hope is that someday there will be patriots on both sides of the aisle who are determined to stop the dysfunction we are now experiencing and will decide that their institutional government should work for the benefit of all of the people.”
But while we share the justice’s hope for a return of the old “true bipartisan spirit” of the Senate, realistically, those days seem unlikely to return any time soon.