It came to light Tuesday that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had been talking to the media about what she thinks of Donald Trump. A Justine coming out as opposed to or in favor of a candidate running for elected office has never really been done before, and it’s drawing ethical concerns from experts. Yet ABC and CBS treated it like just another wacky development in the 2016 presidential election.
“Now, to Donald Trump tonight, demanding an apology this evening from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, after what she said about him,” stated ABC Anchor David Muir on World News Tonight, as if it was just a petty squabble.
“Tonight, Donald Trump in a supreme fight with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” joked ABC’s Tom Llamas during his report. Llamas didn’t send much time on Ginsberg’s comments. His instead chose to pivot to talking about what Indiana Governor Mike Pence thinks about Trump, and the possible VP pick.
CBS’s coverage wasn’t much better. “Well, the presumptive Republican nominee has been the target of a highly unusual opinion by a Supreme Court justice,” said CBS Anchor Scott Pelley. The CBS reporter on the story was Major Garrett. The only counter to Ginsberg he reported on was Trump’s response and the response of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
NBC was the only network in the “big three” to report on the real ethical concerns experts have with Ginsberg’s comments. “Supreme Court justices are appointed for life; making them nearly untouchable, but experts on legal ethics say justice Ginsburg is violating a rule that judges should stay out of politics,” reported Justice Correspondent Pete Williams.
“No matter how strongly she feels, part of the job of a judge is to keep her feelings to herself on these public issues and candidates for public office,” explained Law Professor Arthur Hellman, to Williams.
In Addition, the Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, didn’t report on the Ginsberg’s comments at all.