Given Donald Trump’s refusal to promise a peaceful transition of power and tweets about delaying the election, it is understandable that Senator Diane Feinstein asked Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, if the constitution gave Trump the right to delay the election.
The answer, without question, is no. According to the Constitution, only Congress can delay or change the date of an election.
Being a constitutional law professor at a prestigious law school, you would hope that Barrett would be able to give a clear and concise answer to this direct question capable of being answered by a first year law school student. However, she did not:
“Well Senator, if that question ever came before me, I would need to hear arguments from the litigants, and read briefs, and consult with my law clerks, and talk to my colleagues, and go through the opinion writing process. So, you know, if I give off-the-cuff answers, then I would be basically a legal pundit, and I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits.”
This was anything but a clear and concise answer to this direct question. Her evasive answer to this question should frighten us all. It is a clear answer that Barrett wants to be an activist judge refusing to follow the Constitution and rewrite the Constitution to fit her personal beliefs.
Then it got worse: Senator Patrick Leahy asked Barrett if she would recuse herself from any case involving the presidential election outcome she said “I can’t offer a legal conclusion right now about the outcome of the decision I would reach,” in other words no, she would not recuse herself.
Trump and other Republicans have strongly implied that they are rushing Barrett’s confirmation because they expect a conservative-leaning Supreme Court to be the ultimate decision maker on the presidential election — not the voters.
This is why faculty members of the University of Notre Dame wrote a letter asking Amy Coney Barrett to “halt” her Supreme Court nomination process until after the November presidential election. The members noted the “rushed nature” of the nomination process, which “may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice.”
“You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination,” the letter read before mentioning Senate Republicans’ refusal to take up former President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland during the 2016 presidential election.
The letter also stated that stopping the confirmation process now would fulfill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to leave her seat on the bench open until after the November election.