[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [OYEZ profile] has blasted recent suggestions that a watchdog post be created to oversee conduct of federal judges. Ginsburg said the judiciary was "under assault" and called for lawyers to defend judges against such changes in an appearance Tuesday before the American Bar Association [official website]. Ginsburg also said that the bipartisan approach to judicial nominations that had been present when she and Justice Stephen Breyer [OYEZ profile] were confirmed in the early 1990s had disappeared.
Ginsburg was responding to recent legislation introduced [news release] by Sen. Charles Grassley [official website] that would create an inspector general post to police the judiciary and report any improper conduct to Chief Justice John Roberts and the US Department of Justice. Rep. James Sensenbrenner [official website] also introduced a similar bill in the House, although it would only apply to lower federal courts. A representative from the Administrative Office of the US Courts [official website] has said no watchdog is necessary [JURIST report]. AP has more.