James Joyner reports that Justice Ginsburg recently pulled a Scalia:
Ginsburg, speaking to a group of women's rights lawyers, was asked if people's rights were in danger.
"On important issues, like the balance between liberty and security, if the public doesn't care, then the security side is going to overweigh the other," she said.
That would change, Ginsburg said, "if people come forward and say we are proud to live in the USA, a land that has been more free, and we want to keep it that way."
What's interesting to me ... is that Ginsburg seems to be defying the tradition that sitting justices don't speak publically on issues before the Court. She'll certainly be deciding cases on the Patriot Act and similar issues soon. I don't find this problematic--the idea that Justices don't bring their ideology with them to the bench has always been a sham--but it is at least noteworthy, especially given the recent controversies over Justice Scalia's impartiality.
I'd differ with James' views that this sort of thing isn't problematic. If I don't like the Patriot Act, I have a remedy: I can vote for candidates who oppose it. I can write letters to the editor. And so on. If a majority agrees with me, the political process will hold the politicians accountable for having passed it. If Justice Ginsburg and her fellow Supreme Beings strike down the Patriot Act, however, who holds them to account? We have allowed them to be infallible in a way no other actor in our society is by allowing them to be final in a way that no other institution in our society is.