After news broke that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer would soon retire from his spot on the highest court in the nation, Republican Senators chimed in with their reaction and predictions for who President Biden might nominate.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — whose comments during Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing galvanized Republicans — said "I appreciate Justice Breyer’s service to our nation. He has always been a scholar and a gentleman whose record on the Supreme Court is solidly in the liberal camp," he added. "As to his replacement: If all Democrats hang together – which I expect they will – they have the power to replace Justice Breyer in 2022 without one Republican vote in support. Elections have consequences, and that is most evident when it comes to fulfilling vacancies on the Supreme Court," Graham noted.
Justice Breyer has always shown great respect for the institution and his colleagues, and I wish him well in the next phase of his life.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 26, 2022
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also thanked Justice Breyer "for his service to our nation" before noting that "A majority of the country has lost confidence in [President Biden's] leadership, and he has proven incapable of serving as Commander in Chief." As such, Blackburn pledged that she "will not stand by as President Biden attempts to fill our courts with activist judges who are beholden to progressive interests. I look forward to thoroughly vetting the nominee to see if they are a person of high character who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not make law from the bench," Blackburn added.
It is telling that the opportunity for President Biden to nominate a new justice will be right before an election when the President is already facing record-low approval ratings. https://t.co/CadSXiYWhi— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 26, 2022
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called Breyer's retirement a "moment of truth for Joe Biden" and warned of a "major battle in the Senate" if Biden "chooses to nominate a left wing activist."
Moment of truth for Joe Biden. Will this deeply unpopular & divisive president finally reject the radical elements of his party and nominate someone who loves America and believes in the Constitution? Or will he continue to tear apart this country w/ a woke activist? https://t.co/FCKDBZUine— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 26, 2022
If he chooses to nominate a left wing activist who will bless his campaign against parents, his abuse of the FBI, his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, and his lawless vaccine mandates, expect a major battle in the Senate— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 26, 2022
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn released a statement warning that "there will be immense pressure from the radical left to replace Justice Breyer with a partisan who will legislate from the bench, and I hope President Biden will not cave to their demands the way he has on nearly everything else over the past year."
Cornyn's statement continued by calling on Biden to "honor the legacy of Justice Breyer and nominate another experienced jurist who respects the current structure and limited role of the Supreme Court."
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) — who also serves as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and is looking to take back the U.S. Senate for the GOP — said in a statement that "Democrats know they will lose the Senate majority in 2022. I predict that Chuck Schumer and whoever is running the White House will force all Democrats to obey and walk the plank in support of a radical liberal with extremist views."