Dershowitz: Ginsburg Should Recuse Herself from ‘Any Case Involving’ Trump
Former Harvard professor says liberal justice's comments disqualify her from ruling on president
Former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should recuse herself from “any case involving the president” because of her past public comments on President Donald Trump.
Dershowitz, a Democratic author and criminal appellate lawyer, noted during an interview Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that Ginsburg has issued some harsh, partisan critiques of Trump — even though Supreme Court justices typically take care to remain as politically neutral as possible.
“I think any case involving the president himself — that is, if there were a case involving whether he could be subpoenaed — she would have to recuse herself because of what she said,” Dershowitz said. “But any case involving just a presidential order, no.”
The Supreme Court decided Monday to take up the case concerning Trump’s travel ban executive order. Although Dershowitz believes there is no impropriety in Ginsburg’s ruling on the travel ban’s constitutionality, anything involving Trump himself would be improper, he said.
Ginsburg delighted liberals when she told CNN in July 2016 during the height of the presidential campaign that Trump “is a faker.”
“He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that,” Ginsburg said.
In July 2016 interviews with the Associated Press and The New York Times, Ginsburg added, “I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Ginsburg added that she and her husband had discussed that it would be “time for us to move to New Zealand” should Trump win the presidency.
Dershowitz said that if the Supreme Court takes up the travel ban case, “they’ll uphold most of it.”
“They’ll uphold it as it applies to people who have never been in the United States, to people who are strangers,” Dershowitz said. “Look, a guy in Saudi Arabia says, ‘You know, I’d like to come and see the Statue of Liberty.’ He has no rights as under the American Constitution to come here. And so I think the court will uphold it.”
“And remember that the six … countries that were listed in the ban were all picked by the Obama administration” as terrorism hotspots, Dershowitz added. “That’s countries where the terrorists are, and that’s countries that don’t have appropriate vetting.”
“And so I think a reasonable Supreme Court would uphold this statute, particularly its second version. The first one was a little bit more difficult because it included people with green cards,” Dershowtiz predicted. “I think it would be a much closer vote. I think this will be 6/3 or 7/2 vote upholding it is my prediction.”
Although Dershowitz is in favor of Ginsburg’s recusal in cases directly involving Trump, he frowned upon Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal regarding anything involving the Russia election interference investigation and unsubstantiated allegations that Trump and his officials collided with the Russians.
Ingraham asked him if he thought Sessions should have recused himself, Dershowitz said, “Oh I don’t think so.” Sessions incurred the Left’s ire when he failed to mention a few meetings and conversations he had with Russian officials, and his closeness to Trump during the presidential campaign also concerned the liberals.
Instead, Dershowitz said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “has a much, much more compelling case for recusal right now because he is a potential witness.”
Since the Democrats and mainstream media have shifted their focus from unsubstantiated collusion claims to theories that Trump committed “obstruction of justice” when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, Dershowitz said he believed it would be inappropriate for Rosenstein to act as both witness and prosecutor.
“If they’re looking into the president’s firing of Comey, who’s the first witness you call if you’re the president? You call the guy who wrote you the memo saying, ‘Fire him,'” Dershowitz said of Rosenstein. “So how can Rosenstein go on to become a prosecutor and a witness at the same time? That’s a more compelling case for recusal than what Sessions did.”