Bitter Supreme Court fight weighs on upcoming nomination

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and former Judiciary Committee Chair, has also deferred to Democratic presidents in the past and voted for the judges and lower court justices they nominated.

Last year, Mr. Graham, Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski were the only three Republicans to back Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a favorite to succeed Justice Breyer, for a seat on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. . Circuit.

Endorsing someone for a circuit court seat is not a guarantee of endorsing that same person for the Supreme Court. However, backing someone for the high court after opposing that person for a lower court would be harder to reconcile, making it unlikely that any of the 44 Republicans who opposed Judge Jackson would back down. and support her now. Everyone knew at the time that she was a future candidate for the high court. Three Republicans were absent.

Mr. Biden could also select Judge J. Michelle Childs of the Federal District Court in South Carolina, who has been strongly supported by Representative James E. Clyburn, a powerful lawmaker in that state and House Democrat No. 3 If Mr. Biden nominates Judge Childs, his selection could pressure Mr. Graham and South Carolina’s fellow Republican senator, Tim Scott, to support him.

But allegiance to the state of origin is not a guarantee. Colorado Democrat Senator Michael Bennet opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Colorado native Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, even though the senator introduced him during his confirmation hearing.

The case of Judge Gorsuch is instructive. Although very conservative, he was the kind of highly experienced, pedigree, and qualified candidate that a Republican president might have fielded in the past in the hope that he would receive strong support in the Senate despite ideological differences.

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