Democrats are reportedly considering impeaching newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett if she does not recuse herself from contentious election cases, based on false claims that President Donald Trump discussed them with her.
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.
The rules for recusal focus on the personal and financial interests of judges, not on their judicial views. Judges may have to recuse themselves if they have previously played a role in a case, or if there are serious questions about their impartiality.
The process of impeachment provided for in the Constitution is the same for judges as it would be for the president. It simply requires a majority in the House to impeach, though a two-thirds majority in the Senate to remove.
Story cited here.