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Senate Republicans Promise Major Changes in SCOTUS, Judicial Nominations If They Win Control

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A number of Senate Republicans are vowing not to confirm who they view as left-wing extremist judges and Supreme Court justices if they retake control of the chamber following the 2022 midterms.

The vows came on the heels of the chamber confirming Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

“If we get in charge of the Senate in … 2023, we have a majority, I can promise you nominees like this will not make it through,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), told reporters during a Thursday press conference.

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“It’s not that there won’t be any more judges. But I promise you that if we were in charge — and we had a say — it would be somebody less extreme filling this seat,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the former GOP Senate whip, did not specifically rule out having Republicans confirm another Biden Supreme Court nominee in 2023, but he also did not say the party was committed to doing so. He told Fox News that any Biden pick would have to come as a result of negotiations with the Republican majority.

“I think the Supreme Court’s sort of a unique situation. But, of course, you’re familiar with the Scalia seat, and I think a lot of it has to do with the timing,” Cornyn told the network. “And one of the things I can guarantee you though, there’ll be a negotiation that will determine who that nominee will be. And so that’s the one big change.”

The Lone Star State’s other Republican senator told the network that a GOP majority will definitely have an impact on who Biden would be able to pick — and get confirmed — for important government vacancies, especially the Supreme Court.

“I think if we see a Republican majority in the Senate, it will have a very significant, moderating effect on the Biden administration’s nominees — not just to the Supreme Court, but to the federal courts and to the administration,” Cruz told Fox News Digital.

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“The first year and a half the Biden administration consistently has gone hard left. It has been the extreme radical left that has set the agenda,” he added.

“We can expect substantially more scrutiny of Biden nominees across the board” if the GOP takes over the majority in the Senate, Cruz added. “And one would hope that will cause a moderating influence within the administration not to put up extreme nominees outside the mainstream.”

Fox News Digital continued:

The comments came shortly before the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court, with three Republicans voting for her. Those Republicans were Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Mitt Romney, R-Utah. 

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But Biden didn’t need any GOP help to confirm Jackson because Senate Democrats hold the de facto majority in the 50-50- Senate. Vice President Harris can break party-line tie votes in the chamber if Democrats all stick together, which they did on the Jackson vote. 

Jackson will be sworn in over the summer after the high court finishes its current term.

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“The new justice will not affect the current 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices over Democrat-appointed justices, as Breyer was appointed by former President Bill Clinton,” Fox News Digital reported.

“But in the event of a vacancy opening up in one of the GOP-controlled seats during 2023, there would likely be a much more contentious confirmation process given the elevated stakes. Republicans previously held open the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia after he died in 2016 for more than a year, pending the result of the 2016 presidential election,” the network added.

Then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump won the election and the GOP kept control of the upper chamber. Trump went on to appoint Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia. He then went on to appoint Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

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