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Clyburn on Supreme Court pick: ‘I don’t believe in ultimatums’

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House Minority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) in a new interview said he does not “believe in ultimatums” when it comes to the nomination process for the next Supreme Court justice, despite his vocal endorsements of a South Carolina judge.

Since Supreme Court Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerWhite House says Biden won’t be swayed on Supreme Court pick McConnell’s unconstitutional blockade of Garland poisoned subsequent proceedings White House brushing off Graham handicapping of high court choice MORE announced his retirement last month, Clyburn has touted the experience and bipartisan appeal of Judge J. Michelle Childs of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Clyburn has said Childs would get Republican votes in the Senate  confirmation process.

Despite his consistent advocacy, however, the majority whip has said that Childs is “not a must” while still emphasizing the positive impact she could have on the court.

“I always said it would be a plus, but it’s not a must,” Clyburn told The Washington Post in a new interview published on Wednesday.

“I don’t believe in ultimatums. I don’t want nobody giving me one, and I’m not going to give anybody else one. I may be disappointed for the rest of my life, but I’m not going to give an ultimatum,” he added.

Childs already has GOP support in the upper chamber. Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate slips within 48 hours of government shutdown deadline White House says Biden won’t be swayed on Supreme Court pick The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden on Russia: Distrust and verify MORE (R-S.C.) earlier this month said he pitched the Palmetto State judge to the White House counsel’s office.

The South Carolina Republican warned that Childs is the White House’s best shot at a bipartisan nominee. On Sunday he said that any other nominee for the high court “would be problematic.”

Clyburn pressed Biden during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary to commit to picking a Black woman should a Supreme Court position open up. After Biden announced his intention to do so, he picked up the Congressman’s endorsement in South Carolina and one a key primary battle in the Palmetto State. 

Biden last week said he is looking at four women to fill Breyer’s seat. He said he will make a decision on his pick by the end of this month.

Among the names believed to be under consideration are Childs, Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.


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