McConnell, Biden discuss Supreme Court pick
President Biden spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday about Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s forthcoming retirement and filling the seat on the high court.
“This afternoon, Leader McConnell spoke with President Biden to discuss his upcoming selection to fill Justice Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court,” a spokesman for McConnell said.
“The Leader believes the cornerstone of a nominee’s judicial philosophy should be a commitment to originalism and textualism. He emphasized the importance of a nominee who believes in judicial independence and will resist all efforts by politicians to bully the Court or to change the structure of the judicial system,” the spokesman added.
Biden’s outreach to McConnell, with whom he cut deals during the Obama era, comes as the White House is reaching out to GOP senators while the president mulls who to nominate for Breyer’s seat. Biden is expected to name his nominee by the end of the month.
Though Senate Democrats can confirm the nominee without Republican help if all 50 remain united, they are hopeful that they’ll be able to peel off at least one GOP vote.
Biden also met with Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday along with Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has been in touch with the White House, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he is expecting to speak to the White House on Tuesday.
Graham and Collins are viewed as potential “yes” votes for Biden’s eventual nominee because they both supported former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees. Along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) they have voted for more of Biden’s lower court nominees than the rest of the Senate GOP caucus.