On Thursday, Democrats celebrated after the Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as America’s newest Supreme Court justice.
Yet as a recent NBC News recently pointed out, Democrats are also facing a potential nightmare scenario: Jackson might be the only Supreme Court appointment that President Biden gets to make.
Some fear GOP will adopt “hardball tactics”
A report from the network noted on Friday how there are fears that Republicans will employ “hardball tactics” on judicial nominees should they regain their Senate majority in November.
Those worries have been bolstered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal “to rule out a full-scale blockade against a Biden nominee for the remainder of his four-year term if a vacancy were to arise.”
When asked by reporters this week about whether or not Republicans would even allow a vote on future Biden nominees, McConnell was opaque in his answer.
“I’m not going to go forward with any prediction on what our strategy might be should we become the majority,” the long-time Kentucky lawmaker responded.
He then implied that the threat of holding up judicial nominees could be used as a bargaining chip to win concessions from Biden in other areas.
McConnell remarked that he knew “with pretty great certainty” that the president would have to spend the remainder of his term “being a moderate.”
White House chief of staff “quite confident” Democrats will control the Senate
Last summer, McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that “we’d have to wait and see what happens” if a Supreme Court vacancy were to open up in 2023 but it is “highly unlikely” that his party would vote to confirm a Biden nominee.
In 2016, McConnell famously blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Meanwhile, White House chief of staff Ron Klain was quoted by NBC News as telling MSNBC that he expects Democrats will remain in charge of the Senate despite polling data which suggests his party will have a tough time in November.
“I’m quite confident that if there’s a Supreme Court vacancy, Majority Leader Schumer will make sure that person has a prompt and fair hearing,” he said.