President Donald Trump last week said he wants to immediately fill the new Supreme Court vacancy because he expects the panel to decide the 2020 presidential election.
On Friday, multiple news outlets reported that Trump intends to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, who would be the third justice on the court to have worked for Republicans directly on the Bush v. Gore case that overthrew the 2000 election. She would be the second installed on the court by Trump.
Three years ago, Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee that “one significant case on which I provided research and briefing assistance was Bush v. Gore.” She said she worked on the case for the law firm Baker Botts while it was in Florida courts. She declined to detail the scope of her work on the case and for other clients at the firm, saying: “I no longer have records of the matters upon which I worked.”
Earlier last week, Trump refused to say that he would peacefully transfer power if he loses the election in November. He further suggested the Supreme Court will likely decide the election, underscoring the need to fill the seat left open by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court,” he said. “And I think it’s very important we have nine justices.”
If Barrett is confirmed, she will join two other lawyers from the Republican team that worked on the case that handed the GOP the presidency in 2000.
Chief Justice John Roberts counseled then Florida governor Jeb Bush during that election, according to emails. The Los Angeles Times reported that Roberts “traveled to Tallahassee, the state capital, to dispense legal advice” and “operated in the shadows at least some of those 37 days” that decided the election. Roberts has a long record of working to limit voting rights.
It is a similar story for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Miami Herald reported that during the Florida standoff, “Kavanaugh joined Bush’s legal team, which was trying to stop the ballot recount in the state.” Kavanaugh appeared on national television to push for the ruling that halted the statewide recount and handed Bush the presidency.