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Tags: democrats | senators | supreme court | president joe biden

Democrat Senators Urge Biden to Act Quickly on Supreme Court Nominee

Democrat Senators Urge Biden to Act Quickly on Supreme Court Nominee
Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., speaks at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 14 February 2022 12:48 PM EST

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee would like President Joe Biden to accelerate his Supreme Court pick even though one medical emergency is adding strain to their precarious majority. 

Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., a 49-year-old freshman lawmaker, suffered a stroke last month. A senior aide later announced that he would likely miss four to six weeks of work, effectively shrinking the Democrat caucus to 49 members.

Luján vowed to be back on the Senate floor in time to consider Biden's Supreme Court nominee, The Washington Post reported.

Luján is not on the Senate Judiciary Committee, so this would not affect the committee's ability to vet the nominee and hold confirmation hearings, the Post noted. Democrats hold a narrow 50-50 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says he wants to begin the confirmation process as soon as possible, The Hill reported.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Judiciary Committee, also said he wants Biden to "move as promptly as possible," according to The Hill.

Biden has said he will select his Black female nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Stephen Breyer's resignation by the end of February. This timeline may actually be wise, considering one senator's absence this month.

"I'm impressed with all of the potential nominees that have been named so far. I think they all have really compelling personal life stories and immensely impressive qualifications,” Blumenthal said. "We need to move forward quickly but fairly."

Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court 30 days after former President Donald Trump nominated her to replace late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

While Republicans can't block Biden's nominee, they can postpone the confirmation process by using various procedural tactics, The Hill pointed out. And if Democrats lost a vote in their caucus because of an extended absence, there's no guarantee that they would be able to discharge the nominee onto the floor or ultimately confirm her.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee, said, "This process needs to be thorough, and it needs to be serious. This is a 50-50 Senate, so they're not going to be able to ramrod anybody through."

One potential nominee, J. Michelle Childs, a federal judge for the district of South Carolina, has the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an influential senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Graham's support would increase the likelihood of the Biden’s nominee making it to the floor and getting bipartisan support for a final confirmation vote, according to The Hill.

Graham said last month that he "can't think of a better person for President Biden to consider" and praised her as "fair-minded" and "highly gifted."

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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee would like President Joe Biden to accelerate his Supreme Court pick even though one medical emergency is adding strain to their precarious majority.  ...
democrats, senators, supreme court, president joe biden
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2022-48-14
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:48 PM
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