The Short Version: Justice Ginsberg on the Presidential Race

The Short Version: Justice Ginsberg on the Presidential Race

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, determine why an issue is important, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story. Last week, Cleo Abram too a hard look at anti-Semitism (and Donal Trump). This week, it’s Trump again – in the mouth of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Should Justice Ginsberg have commented on the presidential election?

“Last summer, I had the privilege of meeting Chief Justice John Roberts. He was asked a question on the upcoming presidential election. I have never seen a person so politely yet absolutely quash a conversation. Many people say that’s the ideal—a Supreme Court Justice that never discusses elections. But Justice Ginsburg did. And it is disingenuous to pretend we don’t already know each Justice’s political point of view. So, debated below,” explains Cleo.

Note: If you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

“I love getting feedback every week—thank you! If you want come hang out, debate a thing or two, and meet other Shorties, check out Short Events,” says Cleo.


Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

Cleo Constantine Abram of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

This week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did something shocking: she commented on the presidential election.

In an interview with the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, Justice Ginsburg said, “I can’t imagine what this place would be—I can’t imagine what the country would be—with Donald Trump as our president.” She imagined that her late husband would have said, “now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

Trump took to Twitter to respond. “Her mind is shot—resign!”

Why is it important?

If Justice Ginsburg were on a lower court, she would likely have broken a judicial code of conduct. The code for federal judges says they may not “publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.”

The code does not apply to Supreme Court Justices. However, Justice Ginsburg’s comments upend a canon of judicial ethics and, for some, call into question her commitment to impartiality.

One particular question haunts this debate: if this were 2000 and the election were to be decided by a Supreme Court case, would Justice Ginsburg need to recuse herself? Would that not leave a Court with a conservative majority to decide the election?

Debate it!

Should Justice Ginsburg have commented on the presidential election?

Why “The Short Version” on TIO:

Eight+ years ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this new weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance. (Though we won’t go political, or rather we won’t show bias in the upcoming election.)

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist at Precision Strategies, a political consulting firm.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:

Cleo Abram 2

Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist at Precision Strategies, a political consulting firm born of the Obama 2012 presidential campaign.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski!

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