Insofar as a Supreme Court Justice can be a rock star in 2016, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a rock star. She’s the Notorious RBG, an eloquent, forthright vindicator who’s not afraid of an early evening, wine-soaked snooze, whether or not it’s during the State of the Union.
No one would be surprised to hear that Ginsburg has little patience for vaguely sentient bobblehead Donald Trump, but they would be surprised to hear Ginsburg say she has little patience for vaguely sentient bobblehead Donald Trump. Supreme Court Justices are supposed to remain above the fray of politics, floating over it all in their robes like cloaked wizards. But in an interview with The New York Times, Ginsburg let loose.
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
To quote the Chicago Tribune, “to say her public comments are unusual is like saying dancing cows are scarce.” Supreme Court justices just don’t speak into elections. It’s more than just surprising; it’s written in the federal code of judicial conduct: Judges are not supposed to “publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office.” Judges are supposed to be impersonal, nonpartisan and unassailably fair-minded. The idea of a judge who might allow personal politics to get in the way of rulings is unsettling — all the more so when that judge works for the highest court in the land. As the Tribune puts it:
“I am not aware of any justice ever expressing views on the merits or demerits of a presidential candidate in the midst of the campaign,” Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told The Washington Post. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told us her comment “showed manifestly bad judgment and undermined the integrity of the Court.”
Donald Trump, as think-skinned as a green apple, never lets such slights slide, and he unloaded on Ginsburg over Twitter.
This is cheap and ugly — the only true mark of a shot mind is a Trump endorsement — but it’s hard to contest the general sentiment. Trump has acquired his legions by pitching himself as an outsider, a Robin Hood-type outlaw taking on a rigged system. When a Supreme Court justice makes the virtually unprecedented move of publicly opposing a political candidate, it bolsters his argument. “See, even the Supreme Court is against us!” he can shout at his next rally. “Awful people. Just awful. Very sad!”
This is all tough to say because, of course, Ginsburg is right. Nobody wants to contemplate a Trump victory, least of all the Supreme Court. But the fact that Trump has been so willing to fling mud from his pig pen, unctuously defying any accepted rules for how political discourse works in this country does not excuse others for descending to his level. What if Trump and Clinton were to end up in a Supreme Court contest, similar to Bush v. Gore? Would anyone assume that Ginsburg would be fair-minded in her decision making? What if, God help us, Trump were to end up as President of the United States? The integrity of the court in weighing his decisions would be called into serious question, and make no mistake; we would want a solid Supreme Court in the event of a Trump presidency.
But all that is hypothetical — here’s reality. Trump’s brand is fueled by his appearance as an anti-establishment revolutionary. Cutting that brand off at the knees is the surest way to expose him for the Kraft singles-colored glory hound that he is. But comments like Ginsburg’s play right into his hands.
Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.
Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.
United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?
Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.
If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.
To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.
Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.
Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.
This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.
Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy. During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.
This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.