Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a warning of sorts to President Joe Biden ahead of his naming someone to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
Namely, the Kentucky Republican said Biden should not “outsource” his nominee to the far left because it will be difficult if not impossible to get such a person through an evenly divided Senate.
In addition, moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) indicated that he won’t simply be a rubber stamp for his party, either.
“Looking ahead — the American people elected a Senate that is evenly split at 50-50,” McConnell wrote in a statement Thursday. “To the degree that President Biden received a mandate, it was to govern from the middle, steward our institutions, and unite America.
“The president must not outsource this important decision to the radical left. The American people deserve a nominee with demonstrated reverence for the written text of our laws and our Constitution.”
Biden is reportedly planning on nominating a black woman, as he pledged to do during his 2020 campaign.
“I congratulate Justice Breyer on nearly three decades of thoughtful and consequential service on the Supreme Court, capping forty-plus years of total service on the federal bench,” McConnell’s statement said.
“Justice Breyer commands respect and affection across the legal world, including from those who disagree with his judicial philosophy and conclusions in cases. This respect is rooted in Justice Breyer’s intelligence, rigor, and good-faith scholarly engagement,” it continued.
“By all accounts, both personally and professionally, he has rendered exemplary service on our nation’s highest court.
“Justice Breyer’s commitment to the importance of a nonpartisan, non-politicized judiciary has been especially admirable. Even in the face of undue criticism from the modern political left, Justice Breyer has remained a principled voice against destructive proposals such as partisan court-packing that would shatter public trust in the rule of law,” the statement added.
Manchin has been at the heart of a number of Biden administration shortcomings in the Senate of late. First, he vowed to vote against the $1.9 trillion Build Back Better social spending package, then he blocked removing the filibuster, keeping Senate Democrats from passing voting reform bills on strict party-line votes.
He is unlikely to oppose Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, but he did vow to weigh the woman’s merits.
“I take my constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee to the Supreme Court very seriously,” Manchin wrote in a statement Wednesday before Breyer made his retirement announcement officials. “I look forward to meeting with and evaluating the qualifications of President Biden’s nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy.”