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Sotomayor Recuses Herself from Electoral College Case, Citing Friendship with One of the Parties


Finally… an issue where we can reach bipartisan agreement!

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has announced that she will recuse herself from a case regarding the Electoral College — as she should!

Sotomayor cited her friendship with one of the parties involved.

This announcement comes one month after Sotomayor claimed GOP appointed justices were biased in favor of Trump.

More details on the announcement and the case below:

In April, the Supreme Court will hear two cases to determine whether the Constitution forbids states from directing how electors cast their vote for president.

After the 2016 election, Democrats were famously outraged over the Electoral College.

One of the litigants, Polly Baca, is a long-time friend of Sotomayor and even attended Sotomayor's confirmation.

The Washington Examiner has more details on Sotomayor and Baca's friendship:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rescued herself from an upcoming case that will affect the Electoral College, citing a potential conflict of interest.

The Colorado court case, which will be heard next month, will rule whether the U.S. Constitution forbids states from dictating how members of the Electoral College cast votes for president. The question before the court is if electors, or those who ultimately cast the Electoral College votes, are mandated to cast those votes for the candidate who won the popular vote.

Sotomayor recused herself as a result of a long-time friendship with one of the parties in one of the cases. The acquaintance, Polly Baca, was one of three electors who argue that they should to be able vote for the candidate of their choice rather than the candidate who won the popular vote in the state. Baca and Sotomayor have been friends for decades, with Baca's sister and her family living in Sotomayor's New York apartment, according to NBC News.

“The justice believes that her impartiality might reasonably be questioned due to her friendship with respondent Polly Baca,” Supreme Court Clerk Scott Harris wrote. “The initial conflict check conducted in Justice Sotomayor’s Chambers did not identify this potential conflict.”

Sotomayor's announcement also comes less than a week since Chuck Schumer threatned conservative justices.

The case comes from the state of Colorado, which Trump is making a heavy bid to flip this year.

He recently campaigned in Colorado Springs. 

During the campaign stop, Trump openly toyed with the idea of bringing the Space Force to Colorado, which would bolster the state's economy.

The case will determine whether Colorado electors will cast their vortes based on the vote count in Colorado or the national popular vote.

NBC News has details on the "faithless electors" case:

Sotomayor's recusal is unlikely to make any practical difference. Even if the justices turned out to be divided 5-4 in the Colorado case, her absence would result in a 4-4 tie, meaning the outcome would have no legal significance; her participation in the other case would count, however, and it would be the controlling decision.

More than half the states have laws requiring electors to obey the results of the popular state vote and cast their ballots accordingly. When an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state usually simply throws the ballot away.

The cases before the Supreme Court involve faithless electors during the 2016 presidential election. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated Colorado's law requiring conformance with the popular vote. But faced with a similar challenge, Washington's Supreme Court upheld that state's similar law.

The nation's highest court ruled in 1952 that states do not violate the Constitution when they require electors to pledge that they will abide by the popular vote. But the justices have never said whether it is constitutional to enforce those pledges.

The court will issue its decision by late June.

Sotomayor has been called one of the "most political justices."

She is also known as the most liberal appointment made by Barack Obama.

Let's hope the remaining justices commit to interpreting the Constitution as our Founding Fathers intended!


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