Democratic Senator Chris Coons asked Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett if she would separate herself from any potential dispute before the court concerning the upcoming election, and while Barrett said she could not promise to do so at this time, she did, however, vow to take the matter "very seriously" should such a situation arise.
Coons brought up how President Trump has made claims of the election being a "scam" and the court would need nine justices to sort it out. With that information in mind, he asked Barrett if she would remove herself from such cases, if only for the sake of eliminating the appearance of bias.
"You’re right that the statute does require a justice or judge to recuse when there is an appearance of bias," Barrett responded. "And what I will commit to every member of this committee, to the rest of the Senate, and to the American people, is that I will consider all factors that are relevant to that question – relevant to that question that requires recusal when there is an appearance of bias."
Barrett pointed out that earlier in the hearing she discussed the Supreme Court's recusal process, and how the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that such decisions are made by that justice only after consulting with the other eight justices.
She continued, "And so I promise you that if I were confirmed and if an election dispute arises – you know both of which are ifs – that I would very seriously undertake that process and that I would consider every relevant factor."
"I can’t commit to you right now for the reasons that we talked about before," Barrett added, "but I do assure you of my integrity and I do assure you that I would take that question very seriously."
Earlier in the hearing, Barrett addressed whether she would recuse herself from the controversial case of determining the future of the Affordable Care Act, amongst accusations made by Democrats that President Trump picked her based on her past criticism of the decision that upheld the law in 2012. It was then that she brought up the statute that governs recusal and the process of deliberating with other justices, and said that she could not commit to an answer right now "without short-circuiting that entire process."