Tim Scott praises Supreme Court candidate Michelle Childs

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Tim Scott praises Supreme Court candidate Michelle Childs

Another Senate Republican on Wednesday praised possible Supreme Court nominee J. Michelle Childs as President Biden named an ex-senator to be the “sherpa” to help confirm his pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) lauded home-state federal judge Childs as “a strong candidate” — hinting at more potential GOP backing if Biden picks her.

Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who left the Senate in January after losing re-election, will serve as the White House’s point person to confirm whoever Biden nominates.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are openly campaigning for Biden to pick Childs, 55, for the lifetime position, which he can do with a simple majority.

“She certainly has been received with great acclaim from South Carolinians on both sides of the aisle. I think we have to go through a vetting process if she is the nominee. But I am, uh, I think she has a strong record and would be a strong candidate,” Scott told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Doug Jones
Former Senator Doug Jones was tapped by the Biden administration to be the “sherpa” for his Supreme Court pick.
AP

Biden says he will pick a black woman for the post.

Despite his warm words for Childs, Scott, who is the only black Republican in the Senate, said, “I don’t know at this point” if he would vote for her confirmation.

Graham told reporters earlier Wednesday that he called the White House counsel’s office on Tuesday night to push for Childs to be the nominee.

Senator LIndsey Graham has also praised J. Michelle Childs and said she’d be the kind of person he could support.
Getty Images

“I told them what I’ve been saying publicly: that Michelle Childs is well-known in South Carolina [and that] she’s a quality person, somebody I can see myself supporting,” Graham said.

Graham, a Senate Judiciary Committee member, gushed in a TV appearance Sunday, “I can’t think of a better person for President Biden to consider for the Supreme Court than Michelle Childs.”

Clyburn, who elicited Biden’s vow to nominate a black woman ahead of South Carolina’s 2020 Democratic presidential primary, campaigned for Childs even before Breyer announced his plan to retire.

James Clyburn
House Majority Whip James Clyburn has long been campaigning for J. Michelle Childs to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
AP

Clyburn told the New York Times last year that her humble background was an asset. Childs’ father was a police officer. She attended law school at the University of South Carolina after earning her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida.

“One of the things we have to be very, very careful of as Democrats is being painted with that elitist brush,” Clyburn said. “When people talk to diversity they are always looking at race and ethnicity — I look beyond that to diversity of experience.”

Eight current Supreme Court justices graduated from either Harvard Law School or Yale Law School. The ninth, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, earned her law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Judge J. Michelle Childs
Scott said he still would be unsure if he would vote to confirm Judge J. Michelle Childs despite his praise.
AP

Biden, a senator for 36 years, has made a point of seeking bipartisan buy-in. On Tuesday, he welcomed to the Oval Office the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Friday that Childs is under consideration for the nomination. He made the statement after her confirmation hearinng to be a federal appeals judge was postponed.

Top contenders to replace Breyer include 51-year-old DC appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer clerk who was confirmed by the Senate 53-47 last year with three Republican votes.

Biden Harris senators
President Biden has made a point of seeking bipartisan support for his SCOTUS pick.
Leigh Vogel / Pool via CNP /Medi

Georgia federal Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, 47, the sister of two-time Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, 45, are also believed to be in contention.

Jackson, Gardner and Kruger attended either Harvard or Yale for law school.

Vice President Kamala Harris, 57, also is a potential contender. Harris, a former California attorney general, graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Biden insisted last month that Harris will be his running mate if he seeks re-election in 2024.

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