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Biden's Moderate Supreme Court Picks May Get Bipartisan Support

Biden's Moderate Supreme Court Picks May Get Bipartisan Support
Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court, at her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 16, 2010. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 February 2022 12:26 PM EST

President Joe Biden has said he has "thoroughly reviewed" the credentials of four Black women in the running to replace Justice Steven Breyer, who is retiring from the Supreme Court. He will make his choice known at the end of February.

With the Senate split 50-50 and Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., away from Washington, D.C., for at least a few more weeks while he recovers from a stroke, Republicans' attitudes to Breyer's potential successor has come under intense focus.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, believes J. Michelle Childs, a federal judge serving in South Carolina, is eminently qualified to be on the nation's highest court.

"I have told [Biden] and his team that if you nominate Michelle Childs, she will be in the liberal camp, for sure, but she has a hell of a story," Graham said Sunday on ABC. "And she would be somebody, I think, that could bring the Senate together and probably get more than 60 votes."

Among the justices on Biden's short list, Childs is considered the most moderate, and she has been criticized by progressives and labor groups who say her record is not sufficiently supportive of worker rights.

Childs, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, is backed by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

Two other candidates, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, could be supported by moderate Republicans, according to The Hill. 

Last year, GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), as well as Graham, supported Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke highly of the judge during her 2012 confirmation hearing to be a district judge. 

Ryan, who was then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, told the Senate Judiciary Committee his "praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, for her integrity, it is unequivocal."

Kruger, meanwhile, who sits on the California Supreme Court, is considered a centrist with a record of interpreting the law as written.

"It's fair to call her the median justice on a centrist court, one who looks for consensus, and who reads the law faithfully and applies it impartially without regard to what policy or position that outcome might favor or disadvantage. A neutral arbiter like that should appeal to anyone," said David A. Carrillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center. 

Kruger could also appeal to members of either party who are in favor of seeing at least one Supreme Court justice with time spent on a state bench rather than the federal bench. 

The California Constitution Center and Hastings Law Journal described her as having a moderate approach.  

"Our substantive review shows that Justice Kruger in general reaches results that are evenly distributed among liberal and conservative positions, and that those results flow from a neutral approach to reading the law," the analysis stated. 

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Politics
President Joe Biden has said he has "thoroughly reviewed" the credentials of four Black women to replace Justice Steven Breyer, who is retiring from the Supreme Court.
supreme court, biden, childs, jackson, kruger
538
2022-26-16
Wednesday, 16 February 2022 12:26 PM
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