Graham Signals He’s Likely ‘No’ to Biden SCOTUS Pick


(Hill) – Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), an influential Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is signaling that he is leaning towards voting “no” on President Joe Bidenthe judge’s nomination Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, despite voting last year to confirm her to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Just a few weeks ago, Graham was dangling the prospect of a major bipartisan vote to confirm the first Black woman to the Supreme Court if Biden nominates South Carolina federal District Judge J. Michelle. Childs.

But now, although Graham has yet to announce how he will vote, early signs point to a “no.”

The South Carolina senator was not pleased that Biden delivered Children’s Rights after labor groups rejected her potential nomination. Graham says she’s been derailed by dark money libertarian groups.

Despite voting to elect Jackson to the nation’s second most powerful court less than a year ago, Graham now says that choosing Jackson “means the extreme left has won over President Biden once again. ”

“The reason Michelle Childs wasn’t nominated is because of a concerted effort by the left wing to take her down and that doesn’t sit well with me,” he said in separate comments last week.

“Here’s the thing: I’m willing to get perhaps double-digit Republican support for someone who will be in the freedom camp from my state,” he added, referring to Childs. . “So they made a political decision to reject bipartisanship and go a different path.”

He said Biden “can choose whoever he wants and I can vote any way I want.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Republicans on Tuesday defended Graham’s shift in position, arguing that the stakes for a confirmation vote by the Supreme Court were much higher than for a candidate for the DC Circuit.

“I don’t think voting for a circuit candidate guarantees a Supreme Court vote. I think people see that differently. Circuit courts have to follow Supreme Court precedent, a Supreme Court judge does not,” said Mr. John Cornyn (Texas), a senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, Democrats appear to have given up serious hope of persuading Graham to vote for Jackson and are putting more effort into a solicitation campaign aimed at other Republicans.

A Democratic aide in the Senate on Tuesday said Graham’s initial statements indicated he had no plans to vote for the nominee.

If Graham is “no,” it will be difficult for Democrats to get more than two Republican votes for Jackson. Graham and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were the only three Republicans to vote to confirm her to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in June.

Graham has voted for every Supreme Court nominee since he entered the Senate in 2003 and his poignancy for Jackson, who is even a Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said to be eligible to sit on the Supreme Court, showing how partisan confirmation battles in the Senate have turned out.

Two nominees to Obama’s Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena KaganBoth are considered liberal judges, having won Senate confirmation with 68 and 63 votes, respectively.

Graham Says Democrats’ Burning Tactics Against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his 2018 confirmation battle “definitely changed my perspective on how this place works.”

“I vote for a good portion of their judges but I seem to be the only one playing the game,” he said, underscoring the relative lack of bipartisan support for the three candidates. Trump’s Supreme Court.

Collins, who met Jackson on Tuesday, also voted for Sotomayor and Kagan, while Murkowski voted against both.

However, Murkowski’s vote came before she lost the 2010 Republican primary to Joe Miller of the conservative Tea Party. Since then, she has moved more towards the center of the ideological spectrum.

The high mark for Senate bipartisanship for a Supreme Court nominee over the past 20 years was when then-President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts as chief justice in 2005.

Roberts won 78 Senate votes, including 22 Democrats and one independent vote for Democrat, the late Senator Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.).

Sensor. Tom Carper (Del.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) And Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) The only Democrat from that group still in Congress.

Graham on Tuesday said he doesn’t know when he will meet Jackson and Biden has not personally contacted him to ask for his support.

By contrast, Biden has twice spoken to Collins about Jackson.

Collins praised the nominee’s “thorough, careful approach” to applying the law after meeting with her for more than 90 minutes.

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who plans to contact several Republican colleagues about the possibility of voting for Jackson, said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to Graham and doesn’t know he might. what.

He said there were “a handful” of Republicans he hoped to convince but did not offer any guarantees about the final count.

“I have a handful or more that I’m talking to but I’m not making any predictions,” he said. “I won’t name it.” Graham Signals He’s Likely ‘No’ to Biden SCOTUS Pick

Russell Falcon

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