Supreme Court Justices and Politics

The current status of American politics has gotten everyone to open up and pass on judgments and convey what they believe to be right and just. This phenomenon is not just limited to general public only. People belonging to different prestigious offices are also on the same path. When Justice Ruth Bader expressed negative comments about Donald Trump perhaps he was just passing his judgement on the man just like

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader

he is used to in court. This was not just a press release in fact he responded to a question asked by a reporter. But that incident has already sparked a new debate; whether the Supreme Court as an institution be allowed to influence the public opinion? Should Justices contributed to the political narrative? These are some of the profound questions that need to be answered.

But we have to look at it from a different angle too because debating it in a vacuum would be wrong and not justified. What I am pointing out is that politics have been heavily influencing this institution and its ability to do what it is there for; to provide justice through a proper process. This institution is being prevented from appointing certain judges. Judge Merrick Garland is one example in this regard whose appointment did not go through because of Republican obstruction. According to Kenneth Padowitz, a local Fort Lauderdale attorney and political commentator, in such a scenario it is not difficult to justify the fact that Supreme Court Justices currently are allowed, and should be allowed and permitted to contribute to the political discussion. Far more important is the fact that we have candidates running in the presidential elections who are thugs and are coming up with unconstitutional proposals that need to be rebutted instantaneously. In such times, the question is not of permission rather it becomes a moral duty to voice truth and expose such unconstitutional proposals. And those proposals are not mildly unconstitutional; in fact they challenge the very fabric and values on which this nation is built and these principles have long been upheld by the Supreme Court. In this regard, it is worth noting that Ginsburg’s comments move away from the standard tradition of abstinence in the political matters but this could prove to be a significant positive step in the right direction. In short, in the current political scenario we should appreciate such comments instead of condemning them.

This debate regarding Supreme Court’s intervention in the politics did not start when Ginsburg opinion. Rather this has its foundation in the event when Merrick Garland was passed on for the office of Supreme Court Justice back in February by the Senate primarily controlled by Republicans. So, this is not something that Trump started. The politics in February basically is to be accused of dragging this sacred non-political institution into this debate. Due to the nature of Presidential election candidates, these elections will play a huge role in the future of this country for better or worse. Any factor that could tip the scale in one direction is of utmost importance. And therefore, the significance of opinions of Supreme Court Justices cannot be overemphasized. Once we have a new president, he or she will take full charge of the executive branch but what is worth noticing here is that judicial branch will also be in full control by the President.

However, despite all of these implications the nation was quite stunned after hearing the opinion of Ginsburg on Donald Trump. The public acted in a manner as if she is not allowed to contribute to the public debate. What prompted her to speak was a list of unconstitutional proposals including a complete ban on Muslims. He also expressed racism and expressed negative remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel. These remarks did not just violate the sanctity of one individual rather it violated the sanctity of the whole institution. Keeping all this in mind, her criticism of Trump was justified and necessary. And she is not to be blamed for anything.

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