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As the Senate prepared to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday, Republicans said any 2023 Biden nominee would have a much tougher path to confirmation under a GOP majority.
“If we become responsible for the Senate in … 2023, we have a majority, I can promise you that candidates like this will not pass,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., at a conference of hurry.
“It’s not that there won’t be any more judges. But I promise you that if we were in charge – and we had a say – it would be someone less extreme who would fill that seat.”
MCCONNELL SEE ‘MARKS OF LEGAL ACTIVISM’ IN JACKSON’S FILE, BUT SAYS GOP WON’T CALLING IT ‘ILLEGITIMATE’
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former GOP Senate whip, hasn’t explicitly ruled out Republicans confirming a Biden Supreme Court nominee in 2023. But he doesn’t. is also not engaged.
Cornyn also said any Biden nomination would result from negotiations with the GOP majority.
“I think the Supreme Court is kind of a unique situation. But, of course, you know the Scalia seat, and I think that has a lot to do with timing,” Cornyn told Fox News Digital. “And one of the things that I can guarantee you is that there will be a negotiation that will determine who this candidate will be. And so that is the only big change.”
MURKOWSKI AND ROMNEY BACK BIDEN’S CANDIDATE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON FOR SUPREME COURT
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also said in response to a question from Fox News Digital that a GOP majority would affect President Biden’s choice for key vacancies, including the Supreme Court.
“I think if we see a Republican majority in the Senate, that’s going to have a really big dampening effect on the Biden administration’s nominees — not just the Supreme Court, but the federal courts and the administration,” Cruz said. . “The first year and a half, the Biden administration consistently went left. It was the radical far left that set the agenda.”
If Republicans take control of the Senate, Cruz added, “We can expect a lot more scrutiny of Biden’s nominees across the board. And hopefully that will lead to a restraining influence within the administration for not to put forward extreme candidates outside the mainstream.”
The comments came shortly before the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court, with three Republicans voting for her. Those Republicans were Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
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But Biden needed no help from the GOP to confirm Jackson, as Senate Democrats hold the de facto majority in the Senate at 50-50. Vice President Harris can break party tie votes in the chamber if Democrats pull together, which they did in Jackson’s vote.
Jackson will be sworn in to the Supreme Court this summer when Justice Stephen Breyer steps down after the court’s current term ends.
The new justice will not affect the current 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices over Democratic-appointed justices because Breyer was nominated by former President Bill Clinton.
But should a vacancy open in one of the GOP-controlled seats in 2023, there would likely be a much more contentious confirmation process given the high stakes. Republicans previously opened the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia after his death in 2016 for more than a year, pending the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Former President Donald Trump won, and the Senate in 2017 confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia.