Feb 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says RBG and Sotomayor should recuse themselves from his cases

President Trump at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted during his India visit late Monday that Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should "recuse themselves" from cases involving him or his administration.

Why it matters: The president's criticism of the liberal justices comes after he attacked the judge overseeing the case of his longtime adviser Roger Stone, who was sentenced last Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes including lying to Congress and witness tampering.

  • Attorney General Bill Barr told ABC News in an interview this month that Trump's "constant background commentary" about the Justice Department and its cases make it "impossible" for him to do his job."

What they're saying: Trump posted the tweet in an apparent reference to Sotomayor's dissenting opinion Friday in a case enabling his administration's "public charge" immigration rule to go into effect in which she said the court "has been all too quick" to grant the government's requests, but "make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost."

  • "Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,'" the president tweeted, citing Fox News' Laura Ingraham.
  • "This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to 'shame' some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a 'faker,'" he continued. "Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters! While 'elections have consequences,' I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States Supreme Court!"

Flashback: Ginsburg called Trump a "faker" when he was the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 and told the New York Times at the time she couldn't imagine him as president, prompting him to tell the Times the justice was a "disgrace." She later apologized for her remarks that year.

Go deeper: Trump congratulates Barr after prosecutors resign from Roger Stone case

Go deeper

Chief Justice Roberts laments Chuck Schumer's “dangerous” comments

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts walks out of the Senate chamber on Feb. 5. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare public rebuke on Wednesday of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who blasted Trump-appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as the court weighs its first major abortion case.

What's happening: The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday over a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as it considers a case that could revive abortion restrictions.

Exclusive: Justice Stephen Breyer on politics and the rule of law

Photo: Axios on HBO

In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer urged Americans to re-engage in civics and vote — and not to expect the judiciary to resolve political questions.

Driving the news: It's more than knowing that "judges are not just shouldn't-be-politicians," he said. "They're very bad politicians. Don't get involved in that. That's not your job."

Schumer on Supreme Court remarks: "I should not have used the words I used"

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed regret on Thursday for comments he made about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, following a rare public rebuke by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The backdrop: As the Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday for its first major abortion case since Kavanaugh was confirmed, Schumer warned the two conservative justices that "you won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions." Roberts responded that "threatening statements" from top public officials are "not only inappropriate," but also "dangerous."