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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett Refuses To Answer Question About If Trump Resists Peaceful Transfer Of Presidential Power


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett refused to say Tuesday how she might respond if President Donald Trump does not agree to peacefully transfer the presidency if he loses the election, with Barrett calling it a “political question” that “as a judge I want to stay out of.”

Key Facts

U.S. Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked Barrett about what happens if Trump refuses to give up power, saying “I think it’s disturbing that we’re having this conversation.”

Barrett would not provide an answer about what her response might be as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, saying she didn’t want to “express a view.”

Barrett did say that she believes peaceful transfers of power throughout U.S. history has been fundamental to American democracy.

Booker also pressed Barrett on how she might rule if Trump were to pardon himself, but she also did not provide an answer, calling that inquiry a “legal question.”

What To Watch For

Supreme Court nominees typically do not answer questions on specific issues that may come before the court.

Crucial Quote

“We have had peaceful transfers of power and disappointed voters have accepted the new leaders that have come into office,” Barrett said of past elections.

Key Background

Trump, who is trailing significantly in polls against Democrat Joe Biden, has refused to say whether he would transfer power peacefully if Biden is declared the winner. Trump has suggested a record surge of mail-in ballots will lead to an election rife with fraud, and has called on supporters to monitor polling places on Election Day. Barrett did suggest earlier in her confirmation hearing Tuesday that she could recuse herself in cases involving Trump.


Booker also asked if Barrett condemned white supremacy. She answered that she unequivocally did condemn it.

Further Reading

Amy Coney Barrett Says She’s Open To Recusal, Won’t Be Influenced By President Trump (Forbes)

Today’s 2020 Election Polls: Biden, Cunningham Maintain Leads In Battleground North Carolina (Forbes)

Trump Won’t Commit To Peaceful Power Transfer, Says ‘Get Rid Of The Ballots’ For ‘Continuation’ Of His Presidency (Forbes)

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