Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Meet With President Biden And Vice President Harris To Discuss Supreme Court Vacancy

WASHINGTON – At a meeting in the White House, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy.  Along with Durbin, today’s meeting was also attended by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).


“As a former Chair of the Judiciary Committee, President Biden takes the ‘advice’ role of the Senate very seriously—and I appreciate his desire to seek the advice of Committee Senators as he considers nominees for the Supreme Court vacancy.  During today’s meeting, I reiterated that regardless of the nominee, the Committee’s process will be fair and timely.  Senators will have the opportunity to thoroughly consider the nominee’s record, and the nominee will be treated respectfully and receive a prompt confirmation vote.  We owe that not just to the nominee, but to the American people,” said Durbin.


“We had a productive consultation with President Biden today about the forthcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court.  President Biden and I are both former chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we understand just how important it is for the President to consult with the Senate throughout this process,” said Leahy.  “I commend President Biden for seeking our input early on.  I am confident that he will nominate a brilliant and talented Black woman who will excel as a Justice and who will make the Court better reflect our richly diverse nation.”


“I was pleased to discuss President Biden’s plans to select a talented, highly-qualified, and historic nominee to the Supreme Court,” said Whitehouse.  “The president is firmly set on selecting a nominee with a strong commitment to our Constitution and its guarantee of equal justice, as well as a firm grasp of the everyday challenges Americans face.  I was also glad to discuss the attacks on President Biden’s yet-unnamed nominee from Republicans and the same right-wing dark money groups that packed the Supreme Court under Donald Trump.  It’s vital to call out those attacks as a bad-faith effort to distract from what Justice Sotomayor calls the ‘stench’ of partisanship permeating the Supreme Court.”


“Confirming a Supreme Court justice is one of the most consequential responsibilities of the United States Senate,” said Klobuchar. “At today’s meeting with President Biden, my colleagues and I reiterated our support for an expeditious process while ensuring each candidate receives thorough consideration on the basis of their experience, character, and fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues and the President throughout this process.”


“It was a pleasure to join President Biden and my Senate colleagues at the White House this evening to discuss the pending Supreme Court vacancy,” said Coons.  “As a former Chair of the Judiciary Committee, President Biden knows the skills, qualifications and temperament we need on the Supreme Court and federal benches across the country – that’s why he had a record number of judges confirmed in his first year.  More than ever, I’m looking forward to President Biden’s announcement of an historic nominee and working with my colleagues to swiftly confirm an exceptionally qualified jurist to the Supreme Court.”


“I was honored to join my Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues in meeting with President Biden as he considers this historic Supreme Court nomination.  I shared my hope that he will nominate a Justice who has profound integrity and an energetic intelligence.  I’d like to see a nominee who is able to understand and appreciate the real-world consequences of the Court’s actions and whose intellectual curiosity and strength of character allow her the capacity for growth.  We are so lucky that the American legal community includes so many Black women who embody these characteristics, and I look forward to considering one of their nominations when President Biden makes his decision,” said Blumenthal. 


“I am confident that President Biden will soon nominate an exceptionally qualified Black woman who is fair and impartial.  I made clear to President Biden that we need a Supreme Court that actually reflects America, and appointing the first Black woman would help make that a reality.  This is a lifetime appointment, so we also need a Justice who will not join the conservative majority in rolling back precedent and the constitutional rights of all people,” said Hirono.


“It was an honor to join members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today to meet with President Biden as he prepares to announce his historic nominee to the Supreme Court,” said Booker.  “The next Supreme Court Justice should possess a commitment to protecting and advancing the rights of all Americans – from the rights of women to make their own medical decision, to the rights of workers to organize, to protecting voting rights and defending the principle of equal justice under the law.  Once President Biden makes his announcement, I look forward to working with the Administration and fellow committee members to expeditiously consider the nominee and confirm the first Black woman to the United States Supreme Court.”


“I commend President Biden for his commitment to building a federal judiciary that reflects the diversity of the country it serves—including by nominating the first Black woman in history to serve on the Supreme Court,” said Padilla.  “Today, I reiterated the importance of filling this upcoming vacancy in a thoughtful and timely manner to the President and Vice President.  As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to expeditiously confirming a highly-qualified nominee who is committed to upholding and protecting constitutional values on the nation’s highest court.”


“Today I met with President Biden and Vice President Harris to consult on the upcoming Supreme Court nomination,” said Ossoff.  “I conveyed that I look forward to seeing President Biden’s nominee before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where I will perform my Constitutional duties of advice and consent with diligence and care.”


“I was disappointed to miss this evening’s White House meeting but believe the president is doing the right thing by soliciting views from a number of senators from both parties concerning who he will nominate to the Supreme Court,” said Feinstein.  “I have spoken with the White House and have every confidence that President Biden will select a nominee with excellent credentials who will be extremely well-qualified to serve on our highest court.”