U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, is reaching out to Republicans to assure them they will have the chance to meet with President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, he said on Sunday.
Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would conduct a confirmation hearing for Biden’s eventual nominee to the top U.S. court, said he had already spoken with Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican.
“I’m reaching out to the Republicans and saying the nominee will be available for you to get to know them,” Durbin said on ABC’s “This Week.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced on Thursday that he will retire after nearly three decades on the court. Biden said he plans by the end of February to nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, a historic first that the Democratic president called “long overdue.”
Collins, also speaking on ABC, said she appreciated Durbin’s offer to make the eventual nominee available for an interview.
Potential nominees include Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer law clerk confirmed by the Senate last June to serve on the influential U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Other potential nominees include Leondra Kruger, one of the youngest justices ever appointed to the California Supreme Court, and U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs.
Collins, who voted to confirm Jackson to the appeals court, said on Sunday that she would “certainly give her every consideration” if Jackson was nominated for the Supreme Court.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and Judiciary Committee member, praised Childs on CBS’s “Face the Nation” as a highly qualified candidate, but did not say whether he would vote in favor of her nomination.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Durbin said the speed to confirm a nominee would depend on whether the person had previously appeared before the Judiciary Committee for an appeals court nomination.