April 27, 2021

Whitehouse Statement on Barrett’s Refusal to Recuse in Case Involving Group that Campaigned for her Confirmation

Chairman Whitehouse releases Democratic witnesses’ prepared testimony

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, released the following statement on Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s decision not to recuse herself from Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Rodriquez, a case involving a group that spent heavily to confirm her to the bench. Whitehouse led a letter to Justice Barrett calling on her to recuse herself under federal statute and clear Supreme Court precedent. Oral argument in the case took place earlier today with Justice Barrett participating actively.

“Justice Barrett is set to rule on the interests of a group that spent over a million dollars to install her on the Court — while the group’s case was pending before the Court. Those facts clearly implicate federal statute and the justices’ own decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal.

“This is another dent in the Court’s credibility. Justice Barrett is ignoring important ethical standards to rule on a case that could open our democracy to further infiltration by dark-money influence, perhaps permanently. Her choice to press forward in spite of recusal laws also creates a troubling new precedent, and undermines public confidence in the integrity of the Court.”

Read Whitehouse’s letter with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and House Courts Subcommittee Chair Hank Johnson (D-GA) urging Barrett’s recusal here.

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