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Amy Coney Barrett Refuses To Recuse Herself If The Election Is Contested

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett refused to commit to recusing herself if Donald Trump tries to contest the election.

Barrett said during her confirmation hearing:

Thank you for the question, and I want to be clear to this committee, that no matter what anyone else may think or expect, I have not committed to anything or so much as signaled — I’ve written a couple opinions in the 7th Circuit that have been around election law, but I haven’t even written anything that I would think anybody could say, oh, this might be how she solves an election dispute. I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people. So that would be on the question of actual bias. You asked about the appearance of bias.

And you’re right that the statute does require a justice or judge to recuse when there is an appearance of bias. And what I will commit to every member of this committee, to the rest of the senate and to the American people, is that I will consider all factors that are relevant to that question, relevant to that question that requires recusal when there is an appearance of bias. And there is case law under the statute, and as I referenced earlier in describing the recusal process at the supreme court, Justice Ginsburg said it is always done in consultation with the other justices.


Barrett made it clear that she will not be recusing herself if Trump sues to contest the election and the case goes to the Supreme Court. It is an easy answer if she wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety, but instead, she spent minutes trying to fill up the time with circular legal speak.

The message she was sending was clear. She is on the court to carry out Trump’s agenda, and that includes keeping him in power if the election is contested.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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Jason Easley

Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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