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What the President Gets Wrong About SCOTUS Recusals

Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth released this statement after the President misleadingly called for Justice Ginsburg and Sotomayor to recuse themselves from any Trump-related cases:

Supreme Court justices have an obligation to decide cases in line with their best understanding of the Constitution. The idea being advanced by President Trump – that a justice becomes conflicted if she disagrees with the executive branch’s legal strategy or constitutional theory – is not only wrong but also degrading to the independence of our judiciary.

The notion that a dissent like Justice Sotomayor’s could somehow be construed as an invalid attempt to shame other justices into coming to different conclusions would come as a surprise to many jurists throughout the country and throughout American history.

The recusal standard for all federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, is this: if you were previously involved in a case, have an intimate knowledge of the facts, have a family member involved or could benefit financially from its outcome, you must disqualify yourself. That’s not at issue in any of the major merits cases before the Court this term.

If President Trump were truly concerned about the integrity of the Supreme Court, he should join with Democrats and Republicans in Congress and call on the justices to adopt a code of conduct.

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