In a day and age where not much surprises anyone in the world of politics anymore, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did just that.
The octogenarian gave praise to the newest, and most controversial Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh.
But before she did that she issued a dire warning to Democrats that there are many partisan decisions that are coming, ABC News reported.
The justice was speaking at a conference for judges in New York. According to prepared remarks made available by the Supreme Court, the justice noted that of the 43 cases the justices have announced decisions in since hearing arguments beginning in October, just over a quarter were decided by a 5-4 or 5-3 vote. Those are rulings that tend to split the court’s five more conservative justices from its four liberal members including Ginsburg.
“Given the number of most watched cases still unannounced, I cannot predict that the relatively low sharp divisions ratio will hold,” said Ginsburg, who knows the votes in the some two dozen cases remaining at this point, though the public does not. The court’s term runs from October through June.
In her remarks, Ginsburg drew a parallel between two cases involving the Trump administration: this year’s case involving the census and a case last year in which the court’s conservatives upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries over the dissent of their liberal colleagues.
In the census case, which was argued in April, the court is being asked to uphold a decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to ask every U.S. resident about citizenship in the 2020 census. Opponents of that plan say the question would discourage millions of Hispanics and immigrants from responding and being counted.
“Speculators about the outcome note that last year, in Trump v. Hawaii, the court upheld the so-called ‘travel ban,’ in an opinion granting great deference to the Executive. Respondents in the census case have argued that a ruling in Secretary Ross’s favor would stretch deference beyond the breaking point,” Ginsburg said.
Ginsburg also spoke briefly about cases in which the court is being asked to determine when electoral maps are too partisan. The court has two cases before it on that issue, one from Maryland and another from North Carolina.
“However one comes out on the legal issues, partisan gerrymandering unsettles the fundamental premise that people elect their representatives, not vice versa,” she said.
But the most surprising thing that she said came when she offered high praise for Justice Kavanaugh who was viciously opposed by Democrats.
“It was, I would say, the event of greatest consequence for the current term, and perhaps for many terms ahead,” she said.
She said that the new Justice made history “by bringing on board an all-female law clerk crew” to help him.
“Thanks to his selections, the court has this term for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks,” Justice Ginsburg said.
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