Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett

My column this morning in the Hill discussed a call by columnist and professor Norm Ornstein to impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she does not yield to a demand to recuse herself from any election challenge before the Court. A demand for such recusal was filed yesterday in the Supreme Court. Ornstein’s call for impeachment is the latest unhinged response to Barrett nomination and further decouples our national debate from any sense rationality and restraint.

Ornstein declared on Twitter: “If Amy Coney Barrett goes on the Court and immediately votes for PA voter suppression, she should quickly be impeached. Trump asked her openly to act to tilt the scales of the election.”

I have already addressed the recusal calls as entirely baseless.  Recusal under these circumstances would create a dangerous precedent for future nominees who are pressured to recuse solely to influence the outcome of pending or expected cases. There is not a single case in history where such a recusal of the justice has occurred under this type of flimsy claim. Barrett has no personal, professional, or financial interest in pending election cases.

We have had only one justice ever impeached in our history. That was Samuel Chase in 1804 and he was acquitted by the Senate in 1805.

The Chase case is a telling point of comparison. Like today, the politics of the time were lethal and hysterical. Chase was a highly partisan Federalist who was tainted by the use of the Alien and Sedition Acts to attack political critics during the Administration of John Adams.  The impeachment, supported by Thomas Jefferson, was based on Chase’s presiding on controversial trials for figures like James Callender. Despite the Federalist being in the minority in the Senate, the senators overwhelmingly rejected the case against Chase.

It remains to be seen if we have a  bipartisan majority of senators equally committed to the integrity of the Court and the Constitution today.

180 thoughts on “Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett”

  1. She should be impeached if she doesn’t remove herself from judging when it comes to this election. She was seen together with trump on his balcony at the white house AFTER her confirmation! She cannot be impartial when voting because she is just too close to trump and if she doesn’t see that, than she should be impeached for her poor lack of judgment.

    1. It gets worse!!!! She put her hand on, (you better sit down for this), the Holy Bible!!!!! OMG!!!!!
      And can you believe, a black man administered the Oath!!!?

      what are we coming to in this country!!!!!?

      aside: some trolls are really bad at trolling

  2. Is it possible to impeach someone or just flat charge them with something criminal fo rmaking false charges like this Ormstein. and make sure you wash your stein at home before you use it just in case.

  3. She obviously lied under oath in her confirmation hearings. She should be impeached. It’s not an “unhinged” opinion.
    What is “unhinged”, is Jonathan Turley’s shilling for the criminal GOP.
    History will remember JT as an enabler of this dark moment in our history.

    Now, the autocratic support team will freak out in 3…2…1…

    1. “She obviously lied under oath in her confirmation hearings.”

      What was her lie?

      Have you taken note that corruption evidence against Joe Biden has reached a level where one can no longer close their eyes. The proof is there and confirmed in many ways. Are you aware of this evidence? Why aren’t we hearing from you about Joe Biden’s corruption.

    2. She obviously lied under oath in her confirmation hearings. She should be impeached. It’s not an “unhinged” opinion.

      Any impeachment hearing would require a trial in the Senate. What is the evidence that would be presented to warrant her impeachment?

      1. A picture of her with trump hanging out together after her confirmation happened. It shows that they are too close together and she cannot remain impartial. So she needs to either remove herself from judging during the election or get impeached for poor judgment

        1. With or without lampshades on their head? Was the photo taken at the Russian embassy? 🙄

  4. The Bidens conspired to structure their family’s foreign business ventures in a way that provides Joe Biden with “plausible deniability.”

    But Joe Biden’s son Hunter texted Tony Bobulinski to say that his father was making key decisions about their business deals with China.

  5. Rightwing Polish Regime Bans Abortion, Sparking Widespread Protests

    Tens of thousands of women took to the streets in dozens of Polish cities and towns for a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest a top court’s decision to ban nearly all abortions, even as the nation’s leading politician urged his conservative supporters to “defend Poland.”

    The call by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the deputy prime minister and leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, to fight back against those he cast as “criminals” seeking to “destroy the Polish nation,” threatened to escalate an already tense moment in the deeply divided nation.

    His remarks, made in a speech to Parliament on Wednesday and in a video posted Tuesday night to his supporters on Facebook, came as protests stretched into a sixth straight day and drew in the Roman Catholic Church, with demonstrators interrupting Mass, vandalizing church facades and staging sit-ins at cathedrals as they held coat hangars aloft to symbolize dangerous abortions.

    One group of women donned long red dresses and white bonnets meant to evoke the subjugated women in the Handmaid’s Tale novel and television series and marched into a cathedral and down the aisle between worshipers.

    The women protesting the abortion ruling have been joined by a host of other groups opposed to what they see as the authoritarian drift of the ruling party. The ban on abortion — made by a court ruling that is not subject to appeal — was for many the culmination of a multiyear effort by the ruling party to undermine the rule of law and, step by step, take control of the judicial system.

    Twice before, in 2016 and 2018, the ruling party moved in Parliament to impose a ban on abortion. But it backed off both times after nationwide demonstrations underscored the political cost. This time, the ban came through the Constitutional Tribunal, which is firmly controlled by party loyalists.

    The grievance with the church is also, in many ways, the culmination of watching the critical role many of its leaders have played in the political victories of the Law and Justice party.

    On Wednesday, people — overwhelmingly women — poured out from their offices to take part in the work stoppage. They filled the streets in cities like Gdansk, Lodz, Warsaw and Wroclaw, but also in smaller towns like Siemiatycze in eastern Poland, which used to be a stronghold of the Law and Justice party.

    In Warsaw, a large crowd — most of them wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus — marched to Parliament, blocking traffic, and chanting “Come with us!” to the people watching from windows and balconies along the route. Many of the protesters carried signs bearing anti-government slogans and umbrellas, which became the symbol of protests in 2016 against efforts to ban abortion.

    The country’s Constitutional Tribunal issued its ruling on Thursday, tightening what were already among the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

    The court’s decision halted pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type of abortion currently performed in the country. Abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape and those threatening the life of women are still formally legal.

    Even before Mr. Kaczynski’s call to action on Tuesday to his Facebook supporters — in which he called on people to defend Poland, patriotism and “in particular” Polish churches — right-wing extremists had seized on the protests and formed vigilante groups outside of churches, leading to clashes and small brawls with protesters.

    Edit Zgut, a fellow at the Germain Marshall Institute, said Mr. Kaczynski was using the “ultimate populist manifesto: If you are criticizing us, you are against the nation.”

    Edited from: “Polish Women Lead Strike Over Abortion Ruling Amid Threats Of Crackdown”

    The New York Times, 10/28/20

  6. I was watching the ads for Best Buy’s “loot one, get one free” sale over on CNN. Black Friday is so overrated compared to the deals you can get in a mostly peaceful protest.

    1. I think best Buy requires that in order to get the loot one, get one free deal, you have to loot to end racism.

  7. Elections have consequences. I’m sure there will be consequences after next Tuesday, one way or the other.

  8. Lets display Ornsteins comment for what it is. He’s saying to his fiends on the left, “Look friends, I made this itty bitty, tenny tiny, hardly visible under a microscopic, contribution to the cause”. Please love me.

  9. It remains to be seen if we have a bipartisan majority of senators equally committed to the integrity of the Court and the Constitution today.

    We don’t. Find one Democrat in the U.S. Senate who is willing to say on the record that Christine Blasey Fraud is not a credible witness.

  10. “Impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she does not yield to a demand to recuse herself from any election challenge.”

    – Norm Ornstein

    “How are you guys getting away with this?” “Aren’t you concerned?’”

    – Tony Bobulinski

    “‘Plausible Deniability.”

    – Jim Biden

    1. No she would be getting impeached for not remaining impartial. Amy coney barrett was hanging around with trump at a rally cheering him on and that shows she is impartial towards him. She did it after her confirmation too. So holding out during election type judgments should be fair. She cannot be impartial when it comes to Trump and in judging for things having to do with the election she would be exhibiting poor judgment. So if she does not listen to not judging, then she should be impeached

      1. Rumor has it she didn’t attempt to murder any of her children before they were born. So she will have to recuse herself from any case involving the security of rights.

  11. Reports that looters are shooting looters in Philadelphia.

    One guy called the police because his car full of looted merchandise was stolen by other looters.

    I thought ‘Philadelphia’ was Greek for Brotherly Love.

  12. There’s zero chance Barrett will be impeached and removed from the bench. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh is insanely suggesting that counting votes past election day can “flip the results” of an election (as if the “results” are known before all the ballots are counted). THAT is a threat to our democracy; Kavanaugh’s opinion could prevail. This is nothing.

  13. I’d much rather see Ornstein fired from any teaching job. This demonstrated incompetence is sufficient grounds.


    Because her nomination and confirmation were rushed in such close proximity to this election, Judge Barrett ‘is’ indeed compromised. Any opinion by her that gives Trump forces an advantage amid post-election disputes will be seen as nakedly partisan. And if Professor Turley is incapable of discerning how inappropriate Barrett’s participation would be, then ‘he’ is nakedly partisan.

      1. Johnathan Maxson, if you want to call my attention to an article, just post the key passage. I can’t guess what it is you wanted me to see.

    1. PaintChips, did you ever read the Constitution?

      Do you really think that when a Democrat or Republican appoints a Justice to the SC that politics isn’t involved? Turley is a legal scholar and makes his decisions based on legal theory. How do you make yours?

    2. Anonymous, like this is the first time something like this has happened. This is where this partisan politics has come to in America and it’s only going to get worse.

  15. President Trump says that hopefully the courts will stop ballots from being counted past November 3rd. Full quote, referring to Election Day:
    “We’ll see what happens at the end of the day. Hopefully it won’t go longer than that. Hopefully the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after November 3rd to count ballots, that won’t be allowed by the various courts.”

    This is a profound betrayal of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and faithfully execute all laws. States do not finish counting ballots on Election Day, and hoping the courts will interfere with that is so deeply unpatriotic.

    1. Anonymous:

      President Trump’s comment may also be interpreted as giving Justice Barrett a way to prove her independence before higher stakes cases to follow. “Hopefully the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after November 3rd to count ballots, that won’t be allowed by the various courts.”

      Is three days a lot of time?

      “The issue last week: whether to allow absentee ballots to be counted up to three days after the election, as long as the ballots were postmarked by election day. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the court’s three liberals in the case based on his view that in a situation like this, close to the election, state courts should be able to interpret state law. The court’s other conservatives wanted to block the state court ruling, but a tie vote means the state court ruling remains in place.”


      In relation to Wisconsin ballots:


      “”The Constitution provides that state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules,” Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a concurring opinion.”

      “In dissent, Associate Justice Elena Kagan gave that notion short shrift, noting Wisconsin’s Republican-run legislature hasn’t met since April. Extending the deadline for absentee ballots should have been allowed, she wrote.”

      Regarding Pennsylvania, Justice Barrett might be able to thread the needle and agree with both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Gorsuch through an originalist interpretation of states’ rights and due process (during a Covid-19 public health emergency).

      1. Jonathan,

        Trump’s statement doesn’t give Barrett an opportunity to do anything. If the Trump Campaign files suit to try to force that, we’ll see whether it even reaches the Supreme Court. Why would originalists grant cert? The Founders certainly didn’t expect all states to certify the vote on Election Day. There wasn’t a single Election Day originally.

        Do you have anything to say about Trump’s statement? Is it abhorrent to you, as it is to me?

        How about Kavanaugh’s concurrence in the WI case, does that concern you? A link to some of his many errors, and a reason to think his mistakes were made knowingly, with intent to mislead: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/10/28/ornstein-impeach-amy-coney-barrett/comment-page-1/#comment-2019333

        1. Anonymous:

          “The Founders certainly didn’t expect all states to certify the vote on Election Day. There wasn’t a single Election Day originally.”

          That sounds like an Originalist argument.

          I think President Trump’s and Justice Kavanaugh’s interest in state tallying of election results as close to the end of Election Day is within the realm of reasonable political and judicial opinion. Do I think their case is Originalist? No. Do I think their opinion is the only or necessarily most rational opinion for an election held during a Covid-19 public health emergency? No. Do I think the Democrats would have handled this crisis substantively better than Trump-Pence? Perhaps a Cuomo-Rice Administration would have, and this bears on my undecided status with respect to the Biden-Harris ticket.

          1. Jonathan,

            I gave an originalist argument because I was indicating why I think the answer to “Why would originalists grant cert?” is “they wouldn’t”.

            How are Kavanaugh’s many erroneous statements “reasonable”?

            As for how a Biden Admin would have dealt with the pandemic, you can look at how he responded to H1N1 and Ebola, at the pandemic playbook (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6819258-Playbook.html) left by the Obama Admin., at his January editorial (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/01/27/coronavirus-donald-trump-made-us-less-prepared-joe-biden-column/4581710002/), at the plan he posted (joebiden.com/covid19/), etc.

            1. “the pandemic playbook”

              Obama didn’t even declare a national emergency until months after the WHO declared a Level 6 pandemic for H1N1.

              The reality is that this corona canard will kill no more people than the Swine Flu.

              Of course you’re too much of an ignorant troll to actually look at the data on the CDC website because if you did you’d know that by the CDC’s own admission they are counting tens of thousands of deaths for people who were never even tested for Covid19.

              It’s a scam.

            2. I haven’t looked into the details of Kavanaugh on Wisconsin, Anonymous, only what I quoted. Kavanaugh is certainly fair play, but right now I am more interested in what ACB thinks of Chief Justice Roberts on DNC v Wisconsin:


              “While the Pennsylvania applications implicated the authority of state courts to apply their own constitutions to election regulations, this case involves federal intrusion on state lawmaking processes. Different bodies of law and different precedents govern these two situations and require, in these particular circumstances, that we allow the modification of election rules in Pennsylvania but not Wisconsin.”

          2. Jonathan, in many legal situations and with any IRS filings, the postmark is taken as the standard because it is clear proof of timeliness. When it arrives is not.

            1. in the old days, i never did this myself, but i saw it done: postmarks illegally back dated to meet filing deadlines

              law firms do so much online filing now, and so little filing by mail, if any, that this illegal and unethical practice has mostly dried up.

              hand cancel postmarks are also not too hard to forge according to what i have read on the internet

              it’s better if they count the ones in hand on election day. i think that is the way to totally avoid mischief

      2. How many truckloads of ballots will the democrats need after Election Day to win this election?

  16. Thanks again, Mr. Turley, for your courageous posting. There is much hatred to rise above on both sides of the aisle here in the comments section.

    When and how should Justice Barrett issue a statement concerning recusal in response to Democratic demands? To what extent should this situation also draw forth a statement from Chief Justice Roberts, backing up any decision of ACB not to recuse herself in upcoming cases, and defending judicial independence (including Originalism) more generally?

    Even as Democrats are collapsing half or more of the country’s confidence in the current Supreme Court, they are assaulting judicial independence more generally through their hateful and absolutist attacks on ACB (as a person) and Originalism (as an antipode of reasoning). As if Conservatism and Progressivism are not two halves of a whole Constitutional dialectic, i.e., of honest and impartial judicial debate itself.

    Indeed, a fear I notice after following your work is that Democrats may be so collapsing confidence, first in the Executive (Trump impeachment), second in Congress (stalled second round of Covid-19 stimulus), and now in the Judiciary (discrediting of ACB’s confirmation), that they risk a collapse of public confidence in US government altogether:


    “According to Marquette’s poll, 52 percent of “very conservative” respondents have high confidence in the court, compared to 31 percent of “very liberal” voters – 36 percent of those “very liberal” voters report low confidence. Gallup found a drastic shift in these relative levels of support under President Donald Trump, with conservative support for the court nearly tripling since 2016 and liberal support reduced by more than half.”

    On the other side of the hurricane – with which I fully sympathize as an independent – a brilliant essay from David Brooks:


    “For centuries, America was the greatest success story on earth, a nation of steady progress, dazzling achievement, and growing international power. That story threatens to end on our watch, crushed by the collapse of our institutions and the implosion of social trust. But trust can be rebuilt through the accumulation of small heroic acts—by the outrageous gesture of extending vulnerability in a world that is mean, by proffering faith in other people when that faith may not be returned. Sometimes trust blooms when somebody holds you against all logic, when you expected to be dropped. It ripples across society as multiplying moments of beauty in a storm.”

  17. As ridiculous as this may seem? I have sincere faith that if the Left sweeps this election and captures a Senate majority, we would see a move toward impeaching ALL THREE Justices nominated by President Trump. ( that ‘ lifetime ‘ appointment may not be so lifetime after all! )

    1. Yes, it is ridiculous. A Senate majority isn’t enough to convict. You need 2/3. Though with Democrat/anarchist voter fraud rampant who knows.

    2. The appropriate word is “fascist” not ridiculous.

      The left would make the US into a totalitarian state in no time all for the “common good” of fighting anthropogenic climate change and racism. It targets the bourgeoise, whites, and heterosexuals, and pits them against bohemians, and identity politics. Critical Race Theory blames whites for the nation’s ills in a genetic blood debt much the same as Nazi Germany blamed Jews.

      We are seeing rhetoric similar to before the rise of numerous Leftist dictatorships, while conservatives call out that fighting abuse of power is why they believe in limited government and strong individual rights.

      They’ll promise voters the treasury and special privileges, and they may very well get in.

      Trump never became the authoritarian fascist Nazi Democrats claimed he was. He never seized any power. He’s appointed judges who would ignore their own personnel beliefs and apply the law as written. He was obviously no anti-Semite. He has a Jewish family, made Saudi Arabia welcome his Jewish family, the first Jews to set foot on their soil in generations. He moved the embassy to Jerusalem, and negotiated 3 Middle East peace deals.

      It’s the LEFT who’s out there rioting, looting, and threatening to burn down the government if they don’t get their demands met. They are the ones saying they will expand the court just to pack it with ideologues who will make up new laws from the bench. It’s the LEFT censoring valid news stories that damage their candidate on social media. It’s the LEFT out there harassing and threatening people who don’t vote for them. And have you ever heard the racist slurs so normalized against black conservatives?

      How gullible does someone have to be to believe the LEFT will protect against tyranny? They are tyrants who abuse every shred of power they gain.

      Vote responsibly.

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