Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee tried to “influence” some Supreme Court cases by asking nominee Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from them, law professor Jonathan Turley said.
Turley, who teaches at George Washington University, told Fox News Thursday morning that Barrett would not have to recuse herself from cases involving the Affordable Care Act, for example, just because she could be confirmed weeks before the election.
“The judicial rules on recusal are meant to deal with issues where you have a personal or financial interest in the case or you were involved in the underlying litigation. None of those apply,” Turley said.
“It would be facially ridiculous for a nominee to take herself out of a major challenge later just because she was nominated, confirmed before an election, and you wouldn’t want that because … what the Democratic senators were doing was trying to influence the outcome of any case by getting her to remove herself and reduce the court to eight.”
Turley then pointed out that an eight-judge panel could have a startling consequence.
“That, by the way, could result in a tie, which is not what you want in a major traumatic moment for this nation,” he said.
Barrett sat in front of the Judiciary Committee for three days this week, answering questions on two of them. The panel will hold a vote on her nomination on Oct. 22, which would be followed by a vote in the full Senate later in the month.