Barrett Refuses to Commit to Recusal in Election Cases

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Barrett Refuses to Commit to Recusal in Election Cases” – below is their description.

    Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett batted back Democrats’ skeptical questions on abortion, gun rights and election disputes in lively Senate confirmation testimony Tuesday, insisting she would bring no personal agenda to the court but would decide cases as they come. The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views with often colloquial language, but refused many specifics. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is pressing to have her confirmed before the the Nov. 3 election. “Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee during the second day of hearings. “It’s not the law of Amy,” she said later. “It’s the law of the American people.” Trump has said he wants a full nine-member court in place for any disputes arising from the heated election with Democrat Joe Biden. Barret testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about that, saying to do so would be a “gross violation” of judicial independence. Pressed by panel Democrats, she declined to commit to recusing herself from post-election cases. “I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she said. On her second day of hearings, Barrett returned to a Capitol Hill mostly locked down with COVID-19 protocols, the mood quickly shifting to a more confrontational tone from opening day. She was grilled in 30-minute segments by Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s nominee yet virtually powerless to stop her. Republicans are rushing toward confirmation along party lines. A frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, all but implored the nominee to be more specific about how she would handle landmark abortion cases, including Roe v. Wade and the follow-up Pennsylvania case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which confirmed it in large part. “It’s distressing not to get a good answer,” Feinstein told the judge.

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