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Top Democrat Says POTUS Has More GOP Support ‘Than You Would Imagine’ on SCOTUS Pick

Top Democrat Says POTUS Has More GOP Support ‘Than You Would Imagine’ on SCOTUS Pick

SCOTUS

The list of Republicans willing to support President Joe Biden’s forthcoming nominee to the Supreme Court “is longer than you would initially imagine,” the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat recently teased to reporters.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) declined to name names, but it’s clear to many that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), is one, if not at the top of the list. Graham, who has tethered himself to Donald Trump, is among a handful of Republicans declaring their willingness to break party lines and vote for the yet-to-be-announced White House choice to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democrats say obtaining a bipartisan vote is a top priority during the upcoming confirmation battle. “It will be great for the Senate. It will be great for the Supreme Court,” Durbin said after a White House meeting Thursday. “I hope we can achieve that goal.” Democratic centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has also said he’s “eager” to confirm the President’s pick.

Graham led efforts in the Senate to defend Brett Kavanaugh, a Trump nominee for the high court, from accusations of sexual assault, and it was Graham who brazenly abandoned a promise to refrain from confirming a justice in a presidential election year. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he also helped to seat Amy Coney Barrett on the court just days before President Biden’s election win in November 2020.

But Graham also has a history of working with Democrats and has long said lawmakers should show deference to a president’s picks. He was the only Republican on the committee to vote for two of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees. Graham also has voted against only a handful of Biden’s judicial nominees while supporting about 30. Democratic leaders also praised Graham this past week for his work on a bill ending forced arbitration for sexual assault and sexual harassment claims in the workplace. Durbin called him a “vital partner” on it.

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Graham also stirred controversy on Sunday by publicly chiding his fellow Republicans for holding on to the 2020 President election, which is says may hurt them in the 2022 midterms.

 

Still, some won’t be surprised if Graham ends up opposing Biden’s choice. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee who has worked with Graham in the past, said “pretty much whatever Lindsey does, the back and forth and all that, no longer shocks me, which is too bad. Because I think Lindsey is a far, far better person than these kinds of flip0flops indicate.”

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