Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is asking Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to recuse himself if Trump-related cases make it to the highest court.
“To avoid the prospect that President Trump could effectively choose a judge in his own case, I request that you pledge to recuse yourself from any cases related to the Special Counsel’s investigation and any that otherwise may immediately impact the President and his associates as it relates to the ongoing criminal investigation should you be confirmed,” Booker said in a letter to Kavanaugh on Friday.
“The American public must have full confidence that the integrity of any decisions handed down by the Supreme Court on these matters will not be tainted by any impropriety or the appearance of impropriety from the President’s selection of you.”
Booker cited comments made by Kavanaugh in 2016, “on the ability of a sitting President to be investigated.”
The Hill added:
CNN reported on the remarks, which Kavanaugh mad to the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Kavanaugh expressed a desire to “put the final nail” in the coffin of a landmark Supreme Court ruling establishing the constitutionality of a special counsel investigation.
The White House responded in a statement to Yahoo News, noting that Booker had previously called Kavanaugh’s nomination a “non-starter” upon Trump’s announcement.
“Sen. Booker is not taking the Senate’s constitutional duty to ‘advise and consent’ seriously, which is why he called the Judge’s nomination a ‘non-starter’ the moment he was announced, before meeting with him or reviewing his record,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah said.
“What he has demanded would violate the bedrock constitutional principle of judicial independence by pressuring a sitting judge to pledge any decision on a particular matter or case, including the decision whether to hear the case, for political reasons,” Shah added.
This isn’t the first time that Booker has called on Kavanaugh to recuse himself from cases related to the special counsel’s investigation.
“If you just put this fact pattern down to any senator five years ago, just said the president of the United States is under investigation in which there have been over 70 charges filed, over 20-plus people and corporations have been charged, over five people already guilty pleas, one person already sentenced … I guarantee you you’d get senators [who would] say they would not let that president do what he’s doing right now, which is give himself immunity for any issues that come before the Supreme Court,” Booker said at a rally outside the Supreme Court earlier this month.
“I do not think he should be on the court,” he added.