Biden's Supreme Court Plan Just Got a Big Boost

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham defends idea of selecting from group of Black female candidates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2022 7:37 AM CST
Biden's Supreme Court Plan Just Got a Big Boost
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – President Biden's plan to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court got a bipartisan boost over the weekend when GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham backed the idea. “Put me in the camp of making sure the court and other institutions look like America,” Graham said on CBS's Face the Nation. As Axios notes, other Republicans had previously criticized the idea of limiting the field of candidates. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, for example, suggested that the nominee would be a "beneficiary" of affirmative action under Biden's strategy, per Politico. But Graham rejected that notion while simultaneously endorsing one of the short-list candidates—who happens to reside in his home state of South Carolina.

"Affirmative action is picking somebody not as well qualified for past wrongs," said Graham, before mentioning federal Judge J. Michelle Childs. She "is incredibly qualified," he said. "There's no affirmative action component if you pick her." Graham sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Of course, Democrats don't necessarily need the support of even a single Republican, and GOP leaders in the Senate will meet this week to discuss strategy, reports the Hill. The outlet notes that this is the first time since Republicans ditched the need for a 60-vote threshold on nominees in 2017 that Republicans have not controlled the Senate or the White House.

“Look, I’m going to give the president’s nominee—whoever that may be—a fair look,” GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell said last week when pressed on the issue. “And not predict today, when we don’t even know who the nominee is, how I might vote.” If all 50 Democratic senators stick together, the best Republicans would be able to do is throw up some legislative roadblocks to delay the nomination process. And "there’s a decent chance of getting Republican votes for this pick," Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, tells the Hill. "I don’t know how much Republicans will be on a war footing on this one." (Read more Lindsey Graham stories.)

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