Democrats Seek Bipartisan Support for Supreme Court Pick

Democrats Seek Bipartisan Support for Supreme Court Pick Democrats Seek Bipartisan Support for Supreme Court Pick Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks at a press conference on Dec. 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 07 February 2022 10:23 AM

The White House and top Democrats are seeking potential swing votes among Republican senators to back President Joe Biden's eventual Supreme Court nominee, The Hill reported Monday.

Democrats have been concentrating on outreach as a start to attract at least some bipartisan support for a nominee.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed that the effort has been successful so far. "The White House has done a good job of reaching out to Republicans getting input. I'll give them high marks for that," Graham said, according to The Hill.

During a call he received from the White House counsel's office, Graham urged Biden to pick J. Michelle Childs, who is a federal district judge. The senator said she would get bipartisan support.

However, Graham also warned that other nominees being floated would be a "much more problematic" vote for him.

Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called outreach from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durban "terrific," saying "he called … to assure me that he would make the nominee available to me and that he would provide me with any documents or information that I needed."

Collins told The Hill that she also spoke on the phone with Biden, with whom she served in the Senate for about a decade.

Biden, who made his long Senate career an important aspect of his presidential campaign, is very familiar with the Supreme Court process, having served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Biden last week met with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, for advice and counsel regarding the pick. Grassley said the meeting was "very successful," the Des Moines Register reported.

Grassley said he hopes the process under Biden is fair, balanced and thoughtful, but that he wouldn't comment on whether he might support Biden's nominee until that person is named and he has a chance to meet with her.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is another Republican who said she had been in contact with the White House, said the conversation was "an explanation as to how they’re going to be making the nominee available whenever that nominee is out," as well as welcoming feedback, according to The Hill.

Murkowski, Collins and Graham have voted for more of Biden's judicial nominees than any other Senate Republicans. That includes Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit judge seen as the front-runner to succeed Breyer.

Murkowski cautioned that a "yes" vote for a lower-court position does not mean she would back the same person if nominated for the Supreme Court, noting that there was a "big, big difference" between serving on a district or appeals court and being a justice.

Biden also spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Although McConnell is unlikely to ultimately vote for the president's Supreme Court nominee, he and his top Senate GOP allies are working to lower the temperature after heated Supreme Court battles in recent years.

Original Article