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Monday, April 15, 2024

Psaki Claims Bipartisan Consensus on SCOTUS Pick Is ‘Gaming the System’

Bipartisan vote 'is not only good for the Supreme Court, but it’s good for the Senate...'

(Headline USA) President Joe Biden shot down hopes of selecting a moderate to fill the vacancy left by retiring liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, hinting instead that he might attempt to push through a radical leftist by the narrowest of partisan margins.

Even after limiting the pool of qualified applicants to those who were black women, Biden refused to disqualify candidates who would further polarize and politicize the court while passing by the narrowest of margins through a party-line vote.

The White House bizarrely claimed Monday that choosing a nominee solely based on her likelihood of garnering bipartisan support would limit the options and be tantamount to cheating.

“The president is going to select a woman, a black woman, who is qualified, who is prepared, who has impeccable experience to serve on the court,” said press secretary Jen Psaki. “He’s going to do that based on her credentials, of course having a discussion with her and not through gaming out the system.”

Prior to joining Biden’s campaign, Psaki logged experience working with the radical extremist group Justice Democrats, which had lobbied for Breyer’s resignation, has endorsed court-packing and helped orchestrate the baseless smear campaign against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.

Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and ranking minority member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, planned to meet with Biden at the White House to go over potential nominees, which aides said is longer than three.

Biden has said since his campaign that he would nominate a black woman to the nation’s highest court and he personally interviewed a few of the nominees when they were under consideration for appointment to the federal bench.

“He’s steeped in this process and looks forward to advice from members of both parties on the Hill as well as top legal experts and scholars across the country,” Psaki said Monday. “I think you will see those consultations start this week.”

Among the three frontrunners most speculated to have the inside track is Michelle Childs, a South Carolina judge who has received ringing bipartisan endorsements from Democrat House Majority Whip James Clyburn, as well as GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.

“I can’t think of a better person for President Biden to consider for the Supreme Court than Michelle Childs,” Graham said Sunday on CBS. “She has wide support in our state.”

Because only a simple majority is needed under current Senate rules, their support alone would help assure the confirmation of Childs, even if moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., were to defect.

The White House has yet to designate a official to shepherd the process. But White House officials expect top lawyers in the White House Counsel’s office, plus White House chief of staff Ron Klain, to help in the selection process.

Biden has pledged a pick by the end of February. Breyer, 83, will retire at the end of the term.

On Monday, Durbin said he wanted a speedy confirmation but did not want to arbitrarily rush the process. He said he does not want to put his “thumb on the scale” in talks with Biden, but having a nominee who is a sitting judge “makes the argument more credible” as he is reaching out to Republicans.

Durbin, who is serving his fifth term in the Senate, has been having conversations with GOP senators who he thinks could potentially vote for a Biden nominee. He said his list is “longer than you would imagine,” partly because of his longstanding relationships with Republicans on the Judiciary panel and elsewhere.

A bipartisan vote, he said, “is not only good for the Supreme Court, but it’s good for the Senate.”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., reiterated that “the Senate will have a fair process that moves quickly so we can confirm President Biden’s nominee to fill Justice Breyer’s seat as soon as possible.”

Among the other nominees under consideration are Ketanji Brown Jackson, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright from Minnesota and Melissa Murray, a New York University law professor who is an expert in family law and reproductive rights justice.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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