Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said senators need to be impartial in carrying out their role as the "jury" in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Ginsburg, 86, was asked during a BBC interview about Republican senators who have already said they will vote to acquit Trump, before the trial has even started.
"The House indicts, and the Senate tries. Should a trier be impartial? Of course, that's the job of an impartial judge," Ginsburg said.
BBC News' Razia Iqbal pressed further, saying that it's "problematic" that senators have already made up their minds.
"Well, if a judge said that, a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case," Ginsburg said.
Ginsburg is correct — in a perfect world, jurors would hear a case and make an impartial decision. It's also true that, in this perfect world, prosecutors would primarily be motivated to press charges due to the strength of the evidence, rather than a desire to take down a political opponent.
In the case of this impeachment, Democrats decided years ago that they would like to charge President Trump with a crime, then they set out looking for things that might possibly rise to that level of wrongdoing. Whether one believes Trump's behavior toward Ukraine is impeachable or not, the motivations behind the impeachment are undeniably politically biased.
It becomes pointless to long for an environment in which impeachment is free of political bias. There were Democratic "prosecutors" declaring their intention to charge Trump long ago, before the transgression in question was even committed. And, senators from both parties on the "jury" have publicly made up their minds from the start about whether the evidence warrants a conviction.
If biased senators were not allowed to participate in the impeachment trial, there might be no senators involved at all, and maybe no trial — which might be best for everyone involved. And there's still, apparently, some hope for that outcome.
(H/T: Hot Air)