What Is the Ginsburg Rule? | NTK Network What Is the Ginsburg Rule?

What Is the Ginsburg Rule?

“In my view, you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the court," Biden said in 1993.

By NTK Staff | 07.11.2018 @11:51am

Americans will be hearing senators, members of the media, and political pundits reference the Ginsburg Rule a lot ahead of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

So, what is the Ginsburg Rule?

The Ginsburg Rule is the common name for Canon 5 of the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which “prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court.”

While serving as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Vice President Joe Biden invoked the Canon during the confirmations hearing for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993.

“I do think it’s appropriate to point out that, judge, you not only have a right to choose what you will and not answer, but in my view, you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the court,” Biden said.

Ginsburg used the rule over 30 times during her confirmation hearing to avoid answering questions on a range of topics, including abortion.

Fox News reported:

“Citing the canon, Ginsburg wouldn’t answer questions about the constitutionality of school vouchers, whether the death penalty is constitutional or questions about sexual orientation, including whether adoption rights to homosexuals should be limited.”

“My own views and what I would do if I were sitting in the legislature are not relevant to the job for which you are considering me, which is the job of a judge,” Ginsburg said at the end of her confirmation hearing about her refusal to answer specific questions.

Since then, Canon 5 has been known as the “Ginsburg Rule” by the general public and has been invoked by both Democrat and Republican presidents’ Supreme Court nominees during their confirmation hearings.

As recently as last year, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed support for the Ginsburg Rule, calling it a “grand tradition.”

Now, though, Senate Democrats want to ignore the rule in order to press Judge Kavanaugh on his views regarding Roe v. Wade, which Kavanaugh said was “binding precedent” in 2006.

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