Trump calls on top judge to quit after branding him 'fake'
Donald Trump is calling on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign from the US Supreme Court, calling her a "disgrace" to the institution after publicly disparaging him as a "faker".
Ms Ginsburg, who stands out as the most forthright liberal voice on the country's highest court, has surprised many in the legal world with outspoken remarks lambasting the presumptive Republican nominee in a string of outspoken interviews in recent days.
She launched her criticisms last week, with comments to the 'New York Times', in which she spoke of barely being able to think about the impact Mr Trump would have on the future make-up of the court were he to win the White House in November.
"For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be - I don't even want to contemplate it," she told the newspaper. She also faulted the press for being too soft in its reporting of Mr Trump.
Aged 83 - she was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 - Ms Ginsburg is likely to be among the justices to leave her seat vacant during the first term of whoever winds up succeeding President Barack Obama in January next year.
Justice Ginsburg continued to batter Mr Trump in a third interview with CNN this week. "He is a faker," she said. "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."
Mr Trump, who is expected to be confirmed by Republicans as their standard bearer at the party's national convention in Cleveland next week, struck back via Twitter early yesterday.
"Justice Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot - resign!" he declared.
It is highly unusual for a member of the top court to be so outspoken about a candidate for president just as the campaign is reaching a critical juncture. Her remarks were described as "out of place" by House speaker, Paul Ryan, the most senior Republican in Washington
"For someone on the Supreme Court who is going to be calling balls and strikes in the future based upon whatever the next president and Congress does, that strikes me as inherently biased and out of the realm," he offered.
Ms Ginsburg told CNN that at first she didn't even take the Trump candidacy seriously. "At first I thought it was funny," she said. "To think that there's a possibility that he could be president..."
She then jabbed the media, saying, "I think he has gotten so much free publicity".
Mr Trump also spoke to the 'New York Times' of his dismay with what Justice Ginsburg had been saying about him.
"It's highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly… I think she should apologise to the court. I would hope that she would get off the court as soon as possible," he added.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it was "totally inappropriate" for Justice Ginsburg to lash out at his party's likely candidate and it was not her place to try to influence the election for president.
"It raises a level of scepticism that the American people have from time to time about just how objective the Supreme Court is, whether they're over there to call the balls and strikes, or weigh in on one side or another," he said.