Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Not The Best Of Times” For America, “I Read WaPo And NYT Every Day”
Having regretted her remarks in July 2016 that now-President Donald Trump was “a faker,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the US is “not experiencing the best of times” – but the “pendulum” will swing back.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, in a rare interview, the oldest serving member of the Supreme Court (83 years old) says she is “optimistic in the long run”…
Justice Ginsburg reiterated the importance of the free press.
“I read the Washington Post and the New York Times every day, and I think that the reporters are trying to tell the public the way things are,” she said.
“Think of what the press has done in the United States,” she said citing the Watergate scandal. “That story might never have come out if we didn’t have the free press that we do.”
Asked what most concerns her about the current climate she said, in an apparent reference to longstanding congressional gridlock:
“Our legislature – which is the first branch of government – is right now not working.”
Justice Ginsburg was careful to avoid commenting directly on Donald Trump’s presidency.
Asked about the rise of the so-called “post truth world”, Justice Ginsburg said:
“I am optimistic in the long run. A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum.
“And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction it will go back.
“Some terrible things have happened in the United States but one can only hope that we learn from those bad things.”
She cited the example of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, when more than 110,000 people were put into camps, in the largest official forced relocation in US history.
“That was a dreadful mistake. It took a long time for the United States to realise how dreadful it was. But ultimately the president acknowledged that there was no reason to intern people of Japanese ancestry and Congress passed a bill providing compensation for the people who were interned or their survivors.”
Justice Ginsburg said she was encouraged by the Women’s March, which saw millions in the US and around the world take part in anti-Trump protests.
“I’ve never seen such a demonstration – both the numbers and the rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best times but there is there is reason to hope that that we will see a better day.”
Of course, take all of her comments with a pinch of liberal salt as Trump tweeted – “Her mind is shot — resign.”
Trump may have to wait a lot longer…
“At my age you have to take it year by year. I know I’m OK. What will be next year?”
“I’m hopeful however, because my most senior colleague the one who most recently retired, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down at age 90. So I have a way to go.”