The Democratic Party has long been incensed about the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, namely on account of the fact that they were helpless to prevent the appointment from occurring.
This was due to the Senate’s strong Republican majority, and the intrepid work of Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, who pushed the nomination through with profound efficiency at the behest of President Trump.
The Commander in Chief was worried, specifically, that the 2020 election results could find themselves being adjudicated by the high court, and without the appointment of Barrett, there would be an even number of justices, which could result in a tie and a very real constitutional crisis.
The Democratic response to this argument was that Justice Barrett should actually recuse herself from election matters, something that she has not committed to doing.
This has the Democrats fuming, and considering impeaching the court’s newest member.
George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Wednesday:
Feeling disrespected, Democrats are threatening acts of retaliation in changing the Supreme Court or the Senate. But the most unhinged was the idea to impeach Amy Coney Barrett after she takes her seat. This option was raised by columnist Norman Ornstein, who wrote that if she “immediately votes for voter suppression” after rising to the Supreme Court, “she should quickly be impeached” because President Trump “asked her openly to act to tilt the scales of the election.”
It does not matter, apparently, that Barrett denied having such a conversation and that no one has an inkling of how she would vote on election challenges that have not even been filed. Ornstein is building on demands from various senators that Barrett promise to recuse herself from any election dispute. Others have demanded her recusal in pending cases like the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, to be heard Nov. 10. After Barrett declined to discuss her personal views on the environment, still others demanded recusal from any climate change-related cases … forever.
The Supreme Court has been asked to block an extension of mail-in balloting in Pennsylvania and, on Tuesday, one party demanded Barrett’s recusal from the case. The recusal demand is legally and logically absurd. Justices are largely their own judges on recusal. While Blumenthal demanded in Barrett’s confirmation hearing that “you must recuse yourself,” doing so would raise countervailing concerns of impropriety and political influence. Democrats were demanding that she remove herself without any cognizable basis for recusal. Now, they’re trying to muscle her out with a “recuse or be impeached” ultimatum.
This is a path of no return for the Democrats, however, who would likely find themselves characterized as unreasonably resistant to things not going their way.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.