US Republican presidential contender Donald Trump called on Wednesday for the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, describing her as mentally unfit after she lambasted him in a series of media interviews.
In interviews this week, Ginsburg told CNN she viewed Trump as a “faker” and said she was worried about the country’s future if he won the White House in November.
Her comments have sparked a firestorm of criticism and have enraged Republicans. Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, in a CNN interview on Tuesday, called Ginsburg’s comments “biased and out of the realm.”
Trump, who has called Ginsburg’s comments inappropriate, stepped up his criticism on Wednesday in a Twitter post.
Ginsburg, 83, had “embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements,” he said, adding, “Her mind is shot - resign.”
Trump was not alone in the rebuke. In an editorial on Wednesday, the New York Times said that while there was no legal requirement for her to refrain from commenting on the presidential campaign, Ginsburg should uphold the court’s tradition of silence in political campaigns and drop the “punditry and name-calling.”
The furor over Ginsburg’s comments comes as Trump prepares for the Republicans’ July 18-21 convention that will formally nominate him as the party’s presidential candidate for the Nov. 8 election.
Trump, who needs to energize conservatives in his party who are divided over his unorthodox candidacy, has emphasized the importance of naming conservative justices to the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg is among the liberals on the court, which has been ideologically split between four liberals and four conservatives since conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February.
US Supreme Court justices are not required to follow the code of judicial conduct that applies to judges on lower federal courts. The code, set by the U.S. Judicial Conference, says judges should not “make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.”
Still, the judges on the country’s top court typically try to stay out of the political fray.