Justice Amy Coney Barrett Must Recuse Herself from Any Election Litigation

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause

Americans expect and deserve an impartial judiciary. Justice Amy Coney Barrett owes it to the American people to recuse herself from any litigation related to the 2020 Election. She would do grave harm to the integrity and reputation of the U.S. Supreme Court if she were to rule on any election litigation.

Her nomination and confirmation were rammed through the Senate in just over four weeks. And by the time she was sworn in, more than 60 million Americans had already voted in the 2020 election.

Justice Barrett has an obvious and enormous conflict of interest that is addressed by federal law. Justices are required to recuse themselves if their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The Supreme Court approved of this legal standard in a case back in 2009, where the Court also concluded that the Constitution’s Due Process protections required a judge to recuse himself due to an election-related conflict.

President Trump made explicit that he wanted a tie-breaking justice in place to decide any election-related litigation that reaches the Court. The President’s stated motivation, combined with the frantic pace of her confirmation (eight days before the election), requires Justice Barrett to recuse in any election-related cases. It is obvious that her impartiality might “reasonably be questioned,” to say nothing of the fact that the President is known to demand loyalty.

Any participation in litigation related to the ongoing election by Justice Barrett would reek of partisan bias and would damage the Court’s independence. She must put the country and the integrity of the Supreme Court before the interests of the President who nominated her to our nation’s highest court. Any participation would put an asterisk on the resulting decision. Justice Barrett has no business deciding any case related to this election and she must recuse herself.

To view this statement online, click here.