Amy Barrett Told To Recuse Herself In Important Case

( Some Democrats in Congress are calling for Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from a high-profile case because of her past ties to the conservative non-profit organization that filed the appeal in the case.

The case has been brought by a foundation that’s associated with Americans for Prosperity. That bigger organization said it spent “seven figures” on marketing and advertising to support Barrett’s confirmation hearing in fall 2020.

That makes Barrett unable to separate herself from the appellant in the case, the Democrats argue, which should force her to recuse herself in the case.

The issue at hand in the case challenges the requirement that the nonprofit must disclose its major donors to California’s state regulators.

USA Today obtained a copy of the three-page letter. In it, the Democrats said the support from Americans for Prosperity of Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. Both that organization and its public charity, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, are backed by Charles Koch, a megadonor who supports Republicans.

The letter was penned by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who both serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as Georgia Representative Hank Johnson. The letter reads:

“Statute, constitutional case law, and common sense all would seem to require your recusal. At a minimum, there should be a public explanation as to why you think recusal is not required under federal law.”

Barrett hasn’t commented on the matter just yet.

Whitehouse has consistently called for more transparency from the Supreme Court. He specifically questioned her about this particular case during her confirmation hearing last October, asking her point blank whether she would recuse herself if she were appointed to the high court.

Back then, Barrett responded in a letter, writing it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to weigh in on “hypotheticals.” Questions such as that could only be answered “through the judicial process,” she continued.

The Supreme Court didn’t even agree to take this case up until January of this year.

In their letter, the Democrats referenced this line of questioning in Barrett’s confirmation hearing, writing:

“Because the Supreme Court has since granted the case, these questions are no longer abstract or hypothetical, so we renew the request.”

The appeal that was filed in this case by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation has drawn quite the interest from campaign finance experts and non-profit organizations throughout the country.

The argument the group is making is that if it were forced to disclose its biggest donors to regulators in California, it would case “a nationwide chill” on freedoms of association and speech that are guaranteed under the First Amendment. They argue that their donors have to be kept confidential because they’ve faced “threats, harassment, and violence.”

The counter argument that’s being presented by California is the Internal Revenue Service already requires these non-profit groups to provide this information. The state simply needs this same data so it can investigate any potential fraud that’s occurring.