House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) predicted Wednesday that potential Supreme Court nominee J. Michelle Childs would get GOP support in the Senate if President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE taps her to fill Justice Steven Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court.
News broke on Wednesday that Breyer, who has served on the bench for more than 27 years, will retire at the end of the current term, paving the way for Biden to nominate a Supreme Court justice.
Clyburn told CNN on Wednesday that “several Republicans” would support Childs if she gets the nod from Biden, specifically naming South Carolina Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Juan Williams: It’s Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP’s future Biden’s year two won’t be about bipartisanship MORE and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSen. Tim Scott rakes in nearly million in fourth quarter These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Supreme Court allows lawsuits against Texas abortion ban MORE.
“I want us to make sure that it is a black woman, I want to make sure that it’s a woman that will get universal support. When I say universal I mean bipartisan support,” Clyburn said.
“And I know that Michelle Childs will have support of several Republicans, including the two Republican senators from South Carolina,” he added.
The majority whip sounded a similar note during an interview with ABC News Wednesday night when asked how concerned he is by the possibility of Vice President Harris having to break a tie for Biden’s Supreme Court nominee. The senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.
Clyburn said “I don’t think that will happen,” pointing to GOP support for Childs.
“I’ve talked to the Republican senators from South Carolina, both Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, they are very high on Michelle Childs. And so I think that both of them would vote for her if her name were to be put in nomination,” he said.
Biden, during his campaign in February 2020, pledged to nominate a Black woman to the high court, and many were quick to call on the president to follow through on that campaign pledge Wednesday.
Childs is among names being floated as a potential replacement. A federal district court judge in South Carolina, she was nominated by Biden to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals one month ago. Her confirmation to that post is still pending.
Clyburn told CNN on Wednesday that Childs is “an incredibly smart woman that I believe would do well.”
“People have been talking to me everywhere I go, people tell me what an outstanding jurist Michelle Childs is, and that she ought to be fitted for a promotion,” he added.
If Biden nominates Childs, however, he will be moving away from his first-year history of boosting judicial nominees with backgrounds as public defenders and civil rights lawyers.
Childs’ early experience as a white collar lawyer focusing on representing employers in workplace lawsuits may irk progressives, who have thus far praised the president’s judicial confirmations.
Ketanji Brown Jackson, another Black woman, is widely seen as the front-runner to be nominated as Breyer’s replacement.
The Senate confirmed her on a 53-44 vote last June vote to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, with Republican Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, NATO eye ‘all scenarios’ with Russia Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law The Hill’s Morning Report – US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to Europe MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law There is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections Trump sold off the Arctic Refuge — Congress must end this risky boondoggle MORE (Alaska) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) joining Democrats in support.
Jackson previously served as a federal district court judge in D.C., and was considered for the Supreme Court in 2016 when former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhat does the Preamble to the Constitution have to do with Build Back Better? White House underscores action amid violent crime streak Biden frustration with Fox News breaks through surface MORE was searching for a nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.