SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 1 October 2022, Saturday |

Biden picks former senator to shepherd US Supreme Court nomination

Planning to unveil his US Supreme Court pick by the end of the month, President Joe Biden has chosen former Senator Doug Jones to guide the confirmation process for the White House, and conferred on Tuesday with key lawmakers including the Senate’s top Republican.
Biden met at the White House with the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles judicial nominations, and spoke separately with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who last week warned the Democratic president not to “outsource this important decision to the radical left.”
The president, who pledged to name a Black woman to the lifetime Supreme Court post for the first time in US history, selected Jones, who represented Alabama in the Senate from 2018 to 2021, as part of a team aiming to ensure a smooth confirmation process in the Democratic-led chamber, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Biden’s nominee would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who last week announced plans to retire at the end of the court’s current term.
“I’m serious when I say that I want the advice of the Senate as well as the consent, if we can arrive on who the nominee should be,” Biden said as he met with Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and the panel’s top Republican, Chuck Grassley, citing the Senate’s responsibilities regarding federal judicial nominees under the US Constitution.
Biden reiterated the timetable he announced last week, saying: “I intend to make this decision and get it to my colleagues by the end of this month. That’s my hope.”
The White House has said that a veteran team of advisors, including Chief of Staff Ron Klain and White House Counsel Dana Remus, will help lead the process for selecting the nominee. The nominee will have a round of visits with senators, followed by confirmation hearings, a vote in the committee and a final vote by the full Senate.
Jones, considered as a potential attorney general pick for Biden, will help usher her through that process.
Biden’s selection will not shift the court’s ideological balance. It has six conservative justices, three of whom were named by former President Donald Trump, and three liberal justices.
McConnell, who oversaw a change to Senate rules that allowed Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed with a simple majority vote during Trump’s tenure, also spoke to Biden. That rules change means that the Senate now could confirm Biden’s nominee without any Republicans voting in favor.
“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,” a McConnell spokesperson said.
During a hearing earlier on Tuesday, Durbin laid out his expectations for the process of confirming the nominee.
“This committee will undertake a fair and timely process to examine her record and determine her fitness for the court. That process must not only be fair to members of this committee, but also to the nominee herself. And so it is my expectation that this committee and all its members will treat the nominee with respect and an open mind,” Durbin said.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seen as a leading contender for the job, penned her first ruling as an appeals court judge on Tuesday, striking down a policy begun under Trump that had restricted the bargaining power of federal-sector labor unions.
The ruling could help burnish Jackson’s reputation with organized labor and Democrats. Labor unions are an important constituency for Democrats.

    Source:
  • Arab News