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Sen. Cory Booker said on Sunday he will meet with Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett ahead of her Senate confirmation hearings and will ask if she plans to recuse herself from any cases that arise from the November elections.
“It’s my intention to do so. I think you know my spirit, which is to sit down and meet with people and talk to them. And I’m going to make it very clear,” the New Jersey Democrat, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“One of the things I want to ask her is will she recuse herself…in terms of any election issues that come before us because if she does not recuse herself, I fear that the court will be further delegitimized,” he continued.
“In other words, President Trump has said ‘I will not accept the results unless I win, I’m going to push it to the Supreme Court, and oh, by the way, during the election I’m gonna put somebody on the court as well,” Booker said.
President Trump has never said he would not accept any election outcome in which he wasn’t victorious. Rather, he has said a number of times that he wants to first ensure that election results are fair and valid because he is concerned that widespread mail-in balloting, the scale of which will be unprecedented this election, could lead to massive vote fraud — concerns which are also shared by U.S. Attorney William Barr.
In fact, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has also said, in a rebuke of Hillary Clinton’s advice that Joe Biden should not “concede under any circumstances,” that he wants to ensure that the results are “clear and legal.”
“Whoever the winner is, if it is clear and legal, that should be announced, and the other party should concede,” Durbin told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
As for Booker, he continued, “I hope to have a conversation with [Barrett].”
“My larger hope is, is that the Republican Party realizes they’re undermining their legitimacy, the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and that they stop what they are doing and wait until the American public has spoken in this election,” he added.
But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), has said he believes the president must fill the high court vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for precisely the reason Booker is opposed: To ensure the court has a full bench in order to resolve election-related issues.
“[O]ne reason in particular why I think it is tremendously important that not only does the nomination happen next week but that the confirmation happens before election day is because Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election, they intend to fight the legitimacy of the election as you know,” Cruz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week, referring to previous reports indicating that the Biden campaign has hired hundreds of lawyers for the purpose of challenging results.
He also noted that the court cannot be deadlocked on key issues, leaving them unresolved or resolved by lower courts.
“We cannot have election day come and go with a 4-4 court. A 4-4 court that is equally divided cannot decide anything, and I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested litigation and a contested election,” Cruz added.
In 2000, results in Florida were highly contested with the outcome of the race between Vice President Al Gore and then-GOP nominee George W. Bush. Eventually, the Supreme Court had to weigh in to stop endless recounts of ballots demanded by the Gore campaign, giving Bush the narrowest of victories.
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