Senate Majority Leader
Schumer plans to move Biden’s nominee through the process on a timetable similar to that used by Republicans to confirm Justice
“We want to move quickly,” Schumer told reporters in New York. “We want to get this done as soon as possible.”
The 11 Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are tentatively planning to hold a video call on Thursday afternoon to discuss strategy on the high court nomination, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Democrats will be able to act fast and confirm a nominee on a simple majority vote thanks to a change in the chamber’s rules made by Republicans when they last held control and were trying to get Trump’s earlier Supreme Court picks to the bench.
That still will require holding together the fragile Democratic voting coalition in the 50-50 Senate through what’s expected to be an onslaught of attacks on the nominee from Republicans and their outside allies.
While moderate Democrats
“I take my constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee to the Supreme Court very seriously,” Manchin said in a statement. “I look forward to meeting with and evaluating the qualifications of President Biden’s nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy.”
Republicans have broadly opposed Biden’s court picks, but some have drawn GOP support.
Biden has pledged to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. One of the leading candidates for Breyer’s seat, Judge
Three GOP senators supported Jackson:
Graham, who supported President
“If all Democrats hang together – which I expect they will – they have the power to replace Justice Breyer in 2022 without one Republican vote in support,” Graham said in a statement. “Elections have consequences, and that is most evident when it comes to fulfilling vacancies on the Supreme Court.”
The situation is a result of the increasingly rancorous partisanship surrounding judicial nominations in the last decade. In 2013, the Senate under Majority Leader
The 60-vote threshold required to advance Supreme Court nominees remained intact until 2017, when Democrats filibustered Trump’s first nominee to the high court,
That allowed Gorsuch to be confirmed 54-45. Trump’s second nominee,
Although Breyer is likely to remain on the court through the end of its term in June and until a successor is confirmed, the timing of his retirement will work in Democrats’ favor.
Senate GOP Leader
But with Democrats currently in control and the filibuster for high court nominees abolished, McConnell’s options for the Breyer seat are limited.
That was illustrated during confirmation of Barrett, Trump’s third nominee to the high court and one that swung the balance firmly to conservatives. Democrats used multiple procedural tactics to try to stall the vote. Yet that did little to delay the eventual 52-48 confirmation vote.
McConnell, speaking at an event in his home state of Kentucky, declined to say what Republicans would do, saying Breyer hasn’t formally announced his retirement yet.
Still, some Republicans are signaling they will put up a fight.
“I will not stand by as President Biden attempts to fill our courts with activist judges who are beholden to progressive interests,” she said in a statement.
“Whoever the president nominates will be treated fairly and with the dignity and respect someone of his or her caliber deserves, something not afforded to Justice Kavanaugh and other Republican nominees in the past.”
The stakes are lower than in the last several confirmation battles, given that replacing Breyer with another liberal justice would not change the balance of power on the court, where conservative justices now hold a 6-3 majority. And there are still nearly three years left in Biden’s term.
Murkowski may be the most likely Republican to back Biden’s pick. She’s up for re-election in Alaska and will likely need Democratic and independent voters on her side against a challenge from a Trump-backed Republican, Kelly Tshibaka.
Murkowski’s crossover appeal was key to her successful runs in 2016 as well as in 2010, when she lost a primary but won as a write-in candidate. She voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation but for the confirmations of Gorsuch and Barrett.
(Updates with Judiciary meeting, in fourth paragraph.)
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Megan Scully, John Harney
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