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Democrats seek Barrett's recusal from case tied to conservative backers

Democrats seek Barrett's recusal from case tied to conservative backers
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Several Democratic lawmakers are pushing for Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case MORE to recuse herself from an upcoming case linked to a conservative group that funded an ad blitz supporting her confirmation to the Supreme Court.

In a three-page letter, the lawmakers argued that Barrett was at risk of bias in favor of a litigant funded by Charles Koch, the conservative billionaire behind a group that bankrolled a high-priced ad campaign for the Trump appointee’s Senate confirmation last fall.

“Statute, constitutional case law, and common sense all would seem to require your recusal,” Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHelping students make informed decisions on college Lawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats Judge's decision on Barr memo puts spotlight on secretive DOJ office MORE (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonBottom line Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion Democrats seek Barrett's recusal from case tied to conservative backers MORE (D-Ga.) wrote in an April 16 letter first reported by USA Today.

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“At a minimum, there should be a public explanation as to why you think recusal is not required under federal law,” they added.

The Supreme Court did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation is among the parties that will appear before the justices next week in a First Amendment challenge to a California law that requires nonprofits to disclose their major donors to state officials.

The case comes just months after its sister organization, Americans for Prosperity, told The Hill it would spend seven figures to mount what it described as a “full scale campaign to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”

Republicans' fast-track confirmation of Barrett in October followed the death of liberal stalwart Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade MORE and came about a week before the 2020 election, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.

Supreme Court justices are generally permitted to decide for themselves whether recusal is appropriate in a given case.

Earlier this term, Barrett participated in a case involving some of the fossil fuel industry’s biggest players, including Shell Oil Co., despite her father’s long-standing ties to the corporation, with her non-recusal prompting criticism from government watchdog groups.