U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Ginsburg: Kaepernick's national anthem protest is 'dumb and disrespectful'

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Justice Ginsburg.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. ABA Journal file photo by Sam Kittner.

Updated: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks national anthem protests are “dumb and disrespectful” but says the protesters shouldn’t be locked up.

Ginsburg spoke with Yahoo’s Katie Couric about the protest by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes while promoting her new compilation of writings called My Own Words. The Washington Post noted the interview.

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg said. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it.”

Ginsburg elaborated in a follow up question. “If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive,” she said. “If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.”

Kaepernick has said he is not standing for the anthem because of the country’s treatment of minorities.

Ginsburg was also asked about Donald Trump’s response to her earlier comments calling the GOP candidate a “faker” and saying she doesn’t want to contemplate having him as president. Trump had tweeted that Ginsburg should resign and her “mind is shot.”

Ginsburg told Couric she isn’t on Twitter, and wouldn’t have responded to Trump if she were. She also said during the interview that she has no plans to retire at this point.

Update: Ginsburg reversed course on Friday, saying her comments about Kaepernick were “inappropriately dismissive and harsh” and she commented even though she was “barely aware of the incident or its purpose.”

Updated on Oct. 14 to include Ginsburg’s latest statement.

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