A new poll shows that 76% of respondents want President Biden to consider ‘all possible nominees’ when choosing a Supreme Court justice to replace the soon to be retired associate justice, Stephen Breyer.
This comes after President Biden doubled down on his commitment to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court last week to fulfill one of his campaign promises.
54% of Democrats and 95% of Republicans polled said that all nominees should be considered for the position.
Much like the American public, the Senate is also split with Senator Lindsay Graham stating in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that nominating a black woman to the open position would not constitute “affirmative action.” Graham continued by stating that such a pick would ensure that the court would “look more like America.”
In contrast, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said in an interview on SuperTalk Mississippi Radio “The irony is that the Supreme Court is at the very time hearing cases about this sort of affirmative racial discrimination while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota.”
Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins, in an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” has called Biden’s approach to the nomination process “clumsy at best.” Senator Collins continued by stating that Biden promising to nominate a black woman to the court politicized the process.
Senator Collins continued by stating “It adds to the further perception that the court is a political institution like Congress when it is not supposed to be. So I certainly am open to whomever he decides to nominate. My job as a senator is to evaluate the qualifications of that person under the advice and consent role.”
According to NBC News, likely contenders for Breyer’s replacement are “federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, former Breyer law clerk, and Leondra Kruger, a justice on California’s Supreme Court.”
Senator Dick Durbin stated “I think suggesting there’s a front-runner or this person is now moving ahead, that’s unfair to all the nominees. This is in the hands of the president.”
Senator Durbin continued by defending President Biden’s plan to nominate a black woman saying that black women in law are “extraordinary people” for overcoming obstacles.
“They’re all going to face the same close scrutiny. This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, and I just hope that those who are critical of the president’s selection aren’t doing it for personal reasons,” Senator Durbin said.
Sentiments within the Senate are mixed, particularly within the Republican Party, as lawmakers will begin the advise and consent role of the nomination process upon President Biden’s appointment by the end of February.
However, with 76% of Americans wanting President Biden to consider ‘all possible nominees,’ it is likely that the nomination process will still be contentious.