Supreme Court Nominations

Barrett: No one is above the law, but Supreme Court can't force other branches to comply with judgments

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Hearing room

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont attended the hearing remotely because of the risk of COVID-19 contagion. Image from C-SPAN.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett agreed with the statement that no one is above the law during questioning at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday. But Barrett did not comment when asked if a president who refuses to comply with a court order is a threat to our constitutional system. Nor did she provide an answer when asked if the president can pardon himself.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont pressed Barrett for an answer. Barrett said the Supreme Court has the final word, but it can’t control what happens after that.

“The Supreme Court can’t control what the president obeys,” Barrett said.

A court can pronounce the law and issue a judgment, but it lacks control on how the other branches respond, she said.

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