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Ginsburg expresses 'regret' for remarks criticizing Trump

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ignited a political firestorm this week with comments about Trump, and the possibility of him becoming president.

"On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them", she said in a statement. "In the future I will be more circumspect", Ginsburg, who is a member of the high court's progressive wing, added in brief remarks distributed to the press by the Court. Mr. Trump, she said, "says whatever comes into his head at the moment" and has no consistency in his thinking. "He really has an ego", she told CNN.

The brief statement was a rare, public admission of fault by a member of the Supreme Court, an institution which jealously guards its traditions and nearly never acknowledges missteps in the conduct of the justices.

In a New York Times interview last weekend, Ginsburg caused a stir by expressing her opinion on a presidential candidate - a line justices usually don't cross.

I fear that won't erase the lasting harm of her inappropriate comments about Donald Trump.

Ginsburg said that she "can't imagine what the country would be - with Donald Trump as our president". It was expected that Trump supporters would critic her views, but Justice Ginsburg did all but stay quiet due to the delicate political situation that the USA must undergo over the following months.

Supreme Court justices generally shy away from discussing politics or other divisive issues in public.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, on Thursday called Ginsburg's original comments "beyond the pale and not called for".

Scalia's 2004 duck-hunting trip with then-Vice President Dick Cheney prompted calls for Scalia to step aside from a Supreme Court case.

Earlier in the week, he used the comments to try to portray her as being unfit to continue serving on the court, saying in a tweet that "her mind is shot".

Few legal experts had expected Justice Ginsburg to offer the apology that Mr. Trump demanded.

The controversy erupted as Trump prepared for the opening of the July 18-21 Republican convention, which will formally make him the party's presidential nominee for the November 8 election.

Ginsburg was appointed to the high court in 1993 by Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton. She has drawn a cult-like following among young people who have nicknamed her The Notorious R.B.G., a play on American rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

It's no secret that Supreme Court justices have their presidential preferences, but should they be talking about them out loud?

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