Speed Reads

Barrett Confirmation

Barrett won't answer whether a president can pardon themself

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced another day of Senate questioning on Wednesday, during which Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked some questions about how the court balances out the president. In particular, Leahy wondered how Barrett would feel about a president pardoning themself, given that President Trump has claimed he has that power.

"Does a president have an absolute right to pardon himself for a crime?" Leahy asked Wednesday. Much like she has for other questions, and as she did when Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked about self-pardoning on Tuesday, Barrett declined to give an answer. "So far as I know, that question has never been litigated," Barrett said, preventing her from answering because she could have to decide on it later.

Barrett's lack of an answer came just after she affirmed that "no one is above the law," but said that even the Supreme Court cannot "control whether or not a president obeys" a court's ruling. That could come into play if the Supreme Court has to litigate in next month's presidential election. Kathryn Krawczyk