Lindsey Graham breaks with most Republican colleagues by supporting Biden judicial nominees

With Democrats controlling the Senate, it comes as no shock that President Biden has efficiently nominated dozens of federal judges, however practically all of these picks loved the assist of a high-profile Republican: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Graham, who till January was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted in favor of all however three of Biden’s picks who’ve gone earlier than the complete Senate for votes. In two of these circumstances he didn’t vote in any respect, and he voted no in only one.


In a political atmosphere that has turn into extremely polarized – significantly relating to presidential nominations – Graham’s method to judicial nominations harkens again to earlier instances when judges had been authorized primarily based on {qualifications} as a substitute of ideologies. 

“When the president wins the White Home, they’ve the proper to choose the judges of their selecting,” a member of Graham’s workplace informed Fox Information, stating that the senator “believes the constitutional and historic requirements are what needs to be used for judges.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, questions U.S. Lawyer Common Merrick Garland throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee listening to on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2021. 
(Tasos Katopodis/Pool by way of REUTERS)

The Republican Graham voted to substantiate each Supreme Court docket Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, despite the fact that “he didn’t agree with them,” they added. “Solely in essentially the most uncommon circumstances do you have to vote in opposition to a nominee.”

Graham spoke about this on the opening of the affirmation listening to for Supreme Court docket Justice Amy Coney Barrett – the final excessive courtroom choice made by former President Donald Trump.


Graham recalled how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose demise resulted within the emptiness stuffed by Barrett, was confirmed by a vote of 96-3. Regardless of already having a fame as a liberal “icon,” Graham recalled that “nearly each Republican voted for her. Equally, he famous that the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia obtained much more votes.

The Senate in the end confirmed Barrett with a vote of 52-48.

“I don’t know what occurred between then and now,” Graham mentioned at Barrett’s listening to, admitting that “we are able to all take some blame.”

“However I simply wish to remind everyone,” he continued, “that there was a time on this nation the place somebody like Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen by nearly everyone as certified for the place of being on the Supreme Court docket, understanding that she would have a distinct philosophy than most of the Republicans who voted for her.”

Of Biden’s judicial nominees, the one closest to garnering common assist was Decide Zahid Quraishi of the District of New Jersey, who was confirmed on June 10 with a vote of 81-16. That very same month, District of Colorado Decide Regina Rodriguez obtained 72 votes, and District of New Jersey Decide Julien Xavier Neals acquired 66.

Julien Xavier Neals, nominee to be U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey, testifies during his Senate confirmation hearing on April 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Julien Xavier Neals, nominee to be U.S. district choose for the District of New Jersey, testifies throughout his Senate affirmation listening to on April 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Photographs)

Equally, District of Virginia Decide Patricia Tolliver Giles and D.C. District Court docket Decide Florence Pan obtained 68 votes, and Federal Circuit Decide Tiffany Cunningham obtained 63 votes.

Judicial nominee Tiffany P. Cunningham prepares for her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, May 26, 2021.

Judicial nominee Tiffany P. Cunningham prepares for her Senate affirmation listening to on Tuesday, Could 26, 2021.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc by way of Getty Photographs)


Graham will not be the one Republican to assist practically each judicial choice. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski have additionally voted in favor of just about everybody.

The one Biden judicial decide to not get any Republican assist was Myrna Perez, who was nominated to the Second Circuit Court docket of Appeals. Perez was barely confirmed, as she solely obtained 48 votes for and 43 in opposition to, with seven Republicans and two Democrats not voting.

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