In a surprising move that could cause a rift within the Republican party, several GOP senators have helped advance several of President Joe Biden’s nominees for lifetime appointments to federal courts. The Senate Judiciary Committee discharged seven of Biden’s nominees on April 20 with the help of at least one Republican, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) remains absent due to her battle with shingles.
The seven nominees include Jeffrey Cummings, LaShonda Hunt, and Orelia Merchant for U.S. District Court judgeships in the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of New York, respectively. Michael Farbiarz and Robert Kirsch, who were nominated for U.S. District Court judgeships in the District of New Jersey, and Monica Almadani and Wesley Hsu, who were nominated for U.S. District Court judgeships in the Central District of California, also received assistance from GOP senators.
Although the Senate is currently under Democratic control, Republicans still have 10 members on the Judiciary panel, led by Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), helped advance Biden’s nominees, saying that it is their responsibility to keep the committee moving forward.
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently said that Democrats would not be able to push through some of their more extreme and unqualified nominees who cannot win a single Republican vote in committee. In fact, Durbin did not hold a vote on some of the more controversial Biden selections, including Kato Crews, who was unable to recall what a Brady motion meant during his confirmation hearing.
Although GOP senators’ support of Biden’s nominees could cause divisions within the Republican party, it remains to be seen whether they will continue to support the president’s choices for the federal bench.