Justice Ginsburg Criticizes 'Highly Partisan' Confirmation Process; 'Wish I Could Wave a Magic Wand'

By Susan Jones | September 13, 2018 | 7:35 AM EDT

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in June 1993. She was confirmed two months later by a vote of 96 to 3, and not a single senator asked her about her ten years litigating cases for the ACLU, she said in an appearance on Thursday.

"I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it -- the way it was," Ginsburg told a gathering at the George Washington University Law School.


She said the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh show how partisan the process has become:

"How would you compare the process that you went through with what's going on today?" the moderator asked Ginsburg:

"The way it was, was right. The way it is, is wrong," she said, drawing applause from the audience.

Ginsburg continued:

The atmosphere in '93 was truly bipartisan. The vote on my confirmation was 96 to 3 -- even though I had spent about 10 years of my life litigating cases under the auspices of the ACLU and I was on the ACLU board as one of their general counsels.

My White House handlers asked me questions about my ACLU affiliation. They were very nervous about it. And I said forget it, just forget it. Nothing you can do would lead me to badmouth the ACLU.

And not a single question -- no senator asked me any question, not about that.

It was the same for Justice Breyer, who was nominated a year later. He had in the 90s, the numbers. [Breyer was confirmed 87-9.]

Or think of Justice Scalia, who was certainly a known character in, what was it, 1986? He had been a law professor and written many things; he had been on the D.C. Circuit. The vote was unanimous. Every Democrat and every Republican voted for him.

But that's the way it should be instead of what it's become -- a highly partisan show. The Republicans move in lock step, so do the Democrats.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it -- the way it was.

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