Which Republicans might back a Biden nominee for the Supreme Court? Few, if any.

WASHINGTON — Given the current level of political polarization, only a handful of Senate Republicans are likely to be in play as potenti...


WASHINGTON — Given the current level of political polarization, only a handful of Senate Republicans are likely to be in play as potential supporters of President Biden’s top Supreme Court nominee.

Many Republicans in the Senate have, of course, opposed Mr. Biden’s nominees for lower federal court seats, describing them as too liberal. The intense spotlight of a Supreme Court nomination — and the importance Republican voters traditionally place on the court — will make it even harder for the president to garner support from across the aisle.

Only three Republicans — Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted in June to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, considered a frontrunner to succeed Justice Stephen G. Breyer, in the United States Court. calls for the District of Columbia circuit.

“I think she is qualified for the job,” Mr Graham, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters at the time. “She has a different philosophy than mine.”

But supporting someone for an appeal court position does not guarantee the same level of support for a vacant high court position. Several senators voted against Supreme Court nominees they had previously supported.

Ms. Murkowski, a centrist Republican seeking re-election this year, has already gone her own way when it comes to high court nominations, opposing President Donald J. Trump’s choice of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in 2018 but supporting his nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. Ms Collins, another senator closely watched over Supreme Court nominations, voted to confirm Mr Kavanaugh but opposed Ms Barrett.

Support for high court candidates from the party opposing the president has steadily declined as partisanship of the Supreme Court fights has grown, along with consideration of candidates for federal judgeships at all levels. Even district court nominees, who in the past were often approved by voice vote, now attract strong opposition. And Republicans have vowed to dig even deeper this year, after the White House rejected some Republican recommendations for opening home state courts.

While Republicans have lined up against Mr Biden’s judicial nominees, party leaders argue it’s only fair to do so given the depth of opposition Democrats have shown to judicial choices of Mr. Trump.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider Mr. Biden’s nominee to succeed Mr. Breyer, also includes several Republican senators considered possible future presidential candidates. These senators, in particular, will want to try to demonstrate to Republican voters their views on who should — and shouldn’t — be on the high court.

One factor to consider, however, is Mr Biden’s promise to seat the first black woman on the High Court. This historic development could eventually sway the votes of Republicans who want to be counted as supporters of court diversification.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Which Republicans might back a Biden nominee for the Supreme Court? Few, if any.
Which Republicans might back a Biden nominee for the Supreme Court? Few, if any.
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