Mitch McConnell Prepares Slow Down Supreme Court Drama

( Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, is in a precarious position with the upcoming fight that’s bound to take place over President Joe Biden’s nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

While Republicans really don’t have a path to prevent Democrats from pushing through Biden’s nomination quickly, there are many Republicans who are bound to use the nomination process as a way to gain notoriety among Republican voters.

There’s also the possibility that the GOP may not be completely unified behind the decision — whether to support or reject Biden’s nominee. It’s possible that some GOPers could end up supporting the nominations, while others won’t — which could prove to be crucial in the upcoming midterm elections, especially in swing states.

What McConnell has done thus far is warn Biden that he shouldn’t pick a nominee who would only cater to the ultra-left progressive wing of his party. That being said, the minority leader said his party would make sure the confirmation would remain a civil battle, focusing only on the nominee’s qualifications.

Biden has publicly committed on multiple occasions that the nominee will be a Black woman.

As McConnell recently told reporters:

“I think you would anticipate the Senate Republican minority … treating the nominee with respect and going through the process in a serious, thoughtful way.”

One of McConnell’s allies in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, said he expected the upcoming proceedings as much different than the circus Democrats created around the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, who former President Donald Trump nominated. Cornyn said:

“It won’t be a replay of Kavanaugh.”

The White House is already reaching out to Republicans to try to garner their support for the nominee, even though they technically don’t need the support of the GOP to push the confirmation through. During that outreach, McConnell spoke directly to the president and let his thoughts on the process known.

Supreme Court nominees used to have to meet the 60-vote threshold to avoid the filibuster that most other proposals are subject to. However, in 2017, the then-Republican-led Senate changed those rules so that only a simple majority was needed.

This will be the first time that Republicans will be on the other end of that new rule. The Democrats just have to make sure that all 50 members of their caucus support the Supreme Court nominee, and he or she will be confirmed.

The Democrats are hoping that they will be able to convince at least one Republican to support the nominee, just in case some from their own party aren’t in favor of Biden’s choice.

Over the last year, the Democrats have remained united to confirm 40 judicial nominees that Biden has pushed forward. It’s a reality that many Republicans know they just have to deal with, however best they can.

As John Thune, McConnell’s right-hand man in the Senate, recently commented:

“We have to keep in perspective what we can and we cannot do and keep expectations realistic, because they do have the majority.”