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Tags: biden | senators | supreme court | nominee | latitude

Biden Reminds Senators of Presidential 'Latitude' With Supreme Court Nominees

Joe Biden speaks into a microphone
U.S. President Joe Biden at a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 February 2022 08:28 AM EST

The White House has reminded senators that President Joe Biden deserves "latitude" to have his Supreme Court nominees confirmed "as long as they are well-qualified."

Axios reported Tuesday that lawmakers and allies received an update as Biden prepares to nominate a Black woman to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who plans to retire at the end of the current term.

Biden is choosing from "a wealth of accomplished and inspiring Black women."

"The president is leading a thorough and rigorous process to name an exceptionally qualified nominee, with strong experience, character, and integrity — who will be the first Black woman to serve on the highest court," the White House document said, Axios reported.

"He shares senators' view that a president deserves latitude to have his nominees confirmed as long as they are well-qualified, but as a longtime chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he also takes the ‘advice’ part of the process very seriously."

Biden last week met with Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The White House also has reached out to committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The Hill reported Monday that Biden's team and top Democrats were seeking potential swing votes among Republican senators to back the eventual Supreme Court nominee.

"It's long overdue that a Black woman serve on the Supreme Court, and there is bipartisan tradition for ensuring that the richness of our country is represented in its leadership and on the highest court," the update said, Axios reported. 

Biden, however, did not follow that path in 2003 when then-President George W. Bush nominated Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a Black woman, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Brown was considered a potential Supreme Court nominee.

Biden, then senator from Delaware, filibustered a vote on Brown for the appeals court, and two years later threatened a filibuster if Bush nominated her for the Supreme Court.

At a White House appearance with Breyer late last month, Biden affirmed his pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

A new I&I/TIPP poll, however, found that a plurality of Americans do not believe race and gender should be the main factors in choosing a Supreme Court justice.

The White House’s update also said that Biden "believes that choosing a Supreme Court nominee is among the most serious decisions any president faces."

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The White House has reminded senators that President Joe Biden deserves "latitude" to have his Supreme Court nominees confirmed "as long as they are well-qualified."
biden, senators, supreme court, nominee, latitude
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2022-28-08
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 08:28 AM
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