Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett refused Tuesday to commit to recusing herself from cases coming before the high court — including potential disputes over the Nov. 3 elections.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said President Trump has made it known he wants the justices to strike down Obamacare, which is before the court in a case Nov. 10, and also that the president is counting on the court to rule in his favor if there are legal challenges to the Nov. 3 election results.
“He says he needs a ninth justice,” Mr. Leahy said.
But Judge Barrett told the senator she did not talk to the president or his staff about how she would rule on any case, including the Obamacare arguments scheduled for Nov. 10.
“I have had no conversation with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule on that case. It would be a gross violation of judicial independence,” she said.
“It would be a complete violation of the judiciary for anyone to put a justice on the court as a means to obtain a particular result,” Judge Barrett added.
Judge Barrett said she cannot offer an opinion related to recusals because the court generally consults on those issues and she would be short-circuiting that process.
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said Democrats are objecting to the nominee not based on her training, qualifications or experience, but rather through suggesting she would violate her judicial oath.
“I find that terribly insulting. They suggest you can’t be unbiased in deciding a case you haven’t even participated in yet. I find that insulting as well,” Mr. Cornyn said.
He also said Democrats are engaging in propaganda “in order to make a political point” by accusing the nominee of ruling against women’s rights, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and other civil rights during the confirmation hearings.
Mr. Cornyn noted they did the same against Mr. Trump’s first high court pick Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who authored a case earlier this year extending part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to LGBT employees.