Republicans treading carefully on Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination with fears about midterm impact: report
Ketanji Brown Jackson (AFP)

According to a report from Politico, Republican senators who will be taking part in a historic vote that could place the first Black woman on U.S. Supreme Court are weighing their options on how hard they should oppose her with an eye on the midterm election in November.

With Republicans expected to reclaim the House and make a run at possibly making inroads in the Democratic-controlled Senate, senators are treading carefully on her nomination, mindful that it is likely inevitable she will be seated.

As Politico's Lauren Fox and Tierney Sneed wrote that, for Republicans, "the way they handle the confirmation hearing -- particularly in the context of her being the first Black woman nominated for the high court -- could have far reaching implications in the midterm elections."

One GOP campaign consultant is warning them to not risk blowing projected Republican wins with over-the-top attacks on President Joe Biden's first Supreme Court nomination.

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According to Mike Davis, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee who is now advising GOP staffers, "It's going to be a very good election for Republicans and one of the ways we can screw this up is to go scorched earth on Judge Jackson's nomination."

Republicans may hold their fire based on the knowledge that her appointment won't change the balance of the court which already has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) predicts the judge's ascension to the country's highest court is inevitable, telling Politico, "I don't think there's a lot of surprises here. And I also think, given the fact that she's not going to change the balance, ideological balance of the court, I think people will be respectful and they'll do their due diligence and ask questions. I think we all have a pretty good idea of what the outcome is likely to be -- unless there's a big surprise."

That is not to say that Republicans won't attempt to put up token opposition in an effort to please their voting base, with plans to highlight praise for Jackson's nomination from liberals.

The report goes on to note that Republicans have yet to hold a strategy session on how to handle her nomination, with some Republicans stating that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and senior GOP Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are letting them find their own path when it comes to talking about the nomination.

Politico also reports that GOP senators may attempt to delay Jackson's hearing and subsequent vote by availing themselves of Biden's promise that she will meet with any of them who want to talk to her which could add weeks before the process moves forward.

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