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Legal scholar Jonathan Turley praised Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and her refusal to take the bait from Democrats trying to get her to recuse herself if confirmed.
The George Washington University Law Professor, in an interview on Fox News, called out Democrats and their “utterly absurd” attempts to corner Barrett on recusing herself from election-related cases involving President Trump if she is confirmed to a seat on the high court.
Turley told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that Barrett “did a very good job” in the face of repeated confrontations from hostile Democrats who were trying to “influence” cases.
“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, referring to the line of questioning during Barrett’s confirmation hearings this week.
(Source: Fox News)
“This president has not been subtle and he expects his nominee to side with him on the election issues … whether you like it or not, and I suspect you probably do not, the president has placed both you and the Supreme Court in the worst of positions,” Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy told Barrett on Tuesday.
“I will apply the factors that other justices have before me in determining whether the circumstances require my recusal or not. But I can’t offer a legal conclusion right now about the outcome of the decision I would reach,” the appellate court judge responded in part.
Turley called out the “ridiculous” premise Democrats were putting forth in their questioning.
“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,” the Fox News contributor explained.
“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 added. “That, by the way, could result in a tie, which is not what you want in a major traumatic moment for this nation.”
Turley noted that Barrett “is extremely nimble in these confirmation hearings and she was when she was up for the appellate court.”
The law scholar called out Democrats earlier for their “highly inappropriate” actions in producing photos of individuals during the hearing when discussing the topic of the Affordable Care Act.
WATCH: @SenAmyKlobuchar tells the story of a pair of twin sisters in Minnesota whose coverage would be threatened if the ACA is struck down by Judge Barrett.#WhatsAtStake #SCOTUShearings pic.twitter.com/1Hv2RwcAjT
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) October 12, 2020
“When they put up the poster board of the families and heart wrenching stories – and we imagine they are true – about healthcare and families, they weren’t really talking to her, were they? They were talking to whom?” Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade asked.
“That’s the interesting thing is that she was about as relevant as the ficus plant in the corner of the hearing room,” Turley replied.
“These questions did not expect answers and no answers were given because they could not be given under the canons of judicial ethics. I objected to those pictures which I thought were highly inappropriate. They made her look like some type of judicial serial killer, like these were her victims. They’re not” he continued.
“Those pictures are based on a wildly- misrepresentation of the ACA case. The ACA case is not likely to result in the entire overturning of the Affordable Care Act. It’s based on a very narrow technical issue of severability and at least two of the conservative justices have indicated in past decisions they believe in severability.” he added.
“So it was really unfair to her, but there were many of her cases were being misrepresented and it was hard for her to deal with that,” Turley concluded, “but I thought she did a very good job.”