In a surprising move, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has recused herself from an upcoming Electoral College case, without defining the precise nature of the reason for the recusal.
The clerk of the court informed lawyers in the case Tuesday that Sotomayor realized she is friends with one of the parties in one of the cases, from Colorado. Sotomayor will still participate in the other case, from the state of Washington.
“The justice believes that her impartiality might reasonably be questioned due to her friendship with respondent Polly Baca,” Supreme Court Clerk Scott S. Harris wrote. “The initial conflict check conducted in Justice Sotomayor’s Chambers did not identify this potential conflict.”
That is somewhat surprising. According to news reports, Baca and Sotomayor consider each other old family friends, and Baca attended Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing. According to an article in the Denver Post, Baca organized a gathering in Denver to watch the confirmation vote, and Sotomayor joined them via speakerphone.
“Polly, you know how much I love you, and how much I love your senators, who both voted for me,” Sotomayor said, according to the report.
Read more here.
Last month, after Sotomayor went off in a rant claiming that conservative Justices were acting in a bias way toward cases concerning President Trump, basically saying that activist federal judges should have the power to dictate nationwide policies, the president called for both Sotomayor and Ginsberg to recuse themselves from all “Trump related” matters.
A view that many people agree with wholeheartedly.