Amy Coney Barrett would become third sitting justice that worked with Bush and Republicans in 2000 to win election
By Patrick Forrest
President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court is likely to be confirmed by the Republican majority in the senate with a vote scheduled for Monday, October 26. While normally legal precedent is a good way to see why a judge would have been nominated for the position, as we have reported at the Crusader, it is a potential future decision to be made by the court that could become much more alarming.
In 2016, President Trump became the second man in modern history to win the presidency while receiving fewer votes than his opponent. The same feat was accomplished in 2000 when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in a highly contested election. This election is one in which Judge Amy Coney Barrett, as a young law associate, took part in forming the outcome.
“I did work on Bush versus Gore,” Judge Barrett said at her confirmation hearing. “I did work on behalf of the Republican side. To be totally honest, I can’t remember exactly what piece of the case it was. There were a number of challenges.”
A check of records shows that Barrett worked in the state of Florida on behalf of the Republican party in an attempt to get numerous absentee votes counted in the state—something that now President Trump and Republicans are very much against.
Barrett, along with numerous other lawyers, successfully matched voter information to ballots allowing more than 1,000 votes to count in the state where the margin was less than 550.
Given the fact that President Trump has stated that he believes that the upcoming election, like the one in 2000, would end up in front of the Supreme Court, it is worth knowing that, if confirmed, Barrett would become the third sitting justice to have played a role in the Bush versus Gore election, alongside Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Justice Roberts was nominated by Bush following his victory and also worked more privately on matters related to the case, helping the Bush campaign develop arguments to stop the recount in the state of Florida.
Justice Kavanaugh, unlike the others, was very much a public figure in the election fight. The then 35-year-old lawyer was tasked with overseeing the manual recount in a Democrat leaning Florida county.
“I think what we are seeing is more of a divide over how to interpret the Constitution than really political differences,” Justice Kavanaugh said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the day before the decision was announced. “I don’t think the Justices care that it’s Bush versus Gore or if it were Gore versus Bush. What they care about is how to interpret the Constitution, what are the enduring values that are going to stand a generation from now?”
The Trump administration appears to be setting the groundwork for a challenge to the election results, which he hopes will be argued in front of a Supreme Court with a conservative leaning.
“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court. And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” Trump said. “It’s better if you go before the election, because I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court. And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation.”
None of the three Justices who worked on the Republican side of the Bush versus Gore election have ever committed to recuse themselves if a contested election were to come before the court. In 2005 during Roberts’ confirmation hearing, he refused to disclose his opinion of the Justices’ 2000 decision, stating that a disputed election could come to the court again.