It’s late November and the presidential election has yet to be decided. A critical case arrives before the Supreme Court asking the justices to rule whether thousands of rejected Pennsylvania ballots should be accepted.
If they’re accepted, Joe Biden wins the state and the presidency. But Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett votes with the conservative majority — minus Chief Justice John Roberts — to overturn a lower court ruling that ordered the ballots accepted.
Or perhaps, Barrett recuses herself from the case, and the 4-4 vote means that the lower court ruling accepting the ballot stands, and Joe Biden becomes president.
Democrats now realize that Barrett is a shoo-in for confirmation. They will screech about it, they will try delaying tactics, they may even take to the streets in violent protest. But sometime at the end of October, the Senate will vote and Barrett will be in.
The last arrow in their quiver is to besmirch the process and Judge Barrett by claiming she can’t possibly be a neutral arbiter in the case because Donald Trump chose her and her loyalty to Trump — and not the law — would taint any decision she made on election-related cases.
“I think you know my spirit, which is to sit down and meet with people and talk to them. And I’m going to make it very clear. One of the things I want to ask her is will she recuse herself in terms of any election issues that come before us because if she does not recuse herself, I fear that the court will be further delegitimized,” [Sen. Cory] Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Booker also echoed his Democratic colleagues in voicing concerns that Barrett, if confirmed, would vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
“What … President Trump’s nominee has put up is that she will tear down the Affordable Care Act,” Booker said.
The Democrats are saying the only way to legitimize the Court is to put all liberals on it. Pretending that the American people would see any decision from the Supreme Court as delegitimate because Trump had named a couple of the justices is a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable.
Senator Dick Durbin, the number 2 Democrat in the Senate, also wants to rig the Court so that any decisions on the election are decided “the right way.” Republicans dismiss such concerns.
“I certainly wish she would, it would help matters,” Durbin said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” “And it would evidence the fact that she wants to be fair in addressing this.”
Durbin clearly implies that if Barrett doesn’t recuse herself from election cases, it wouldn’t be “fair.” How arrogant is that?
Senator Mike Lee is agnostic on Barrett recusing herself. “It’s up to her.”
“Judges and Supreme Court Justices have a well-defined set of rules that helps guide their determination in making recusal decisions. I’m not going to purport to speak for what she ought to do with regard to her recusal. I have every confidence that she’ll make the right decision,” Lee said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“You have no problem with the idea a president nominating someone 38 days before an election would then have that person sit in judgment of the very election in play?” Stephanopoulos pressed Lee.
“Whether she recuses in this or any other case is up to her,” Lee replied, referring to Barrett.
There is no earthly reason for Barrett to recuse herself from election-related cases unless she’s bullied into it. Or, unless she’s one of those justices who want to be praised by the New York Times and Washington Post. Barrett has no personal stake in the outcome of the election or in deciding on the legality of ballots, or any other election-related issue. She will make her decision based on the law, not politics.
And that’s what has Democrats so worried.