GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn Objects To Timing Of Biden's Supreme Court Announcement, Citing Ukraine

The Tennessee conservative called the announcement "extremely inappropriate," accusing Biden of attempting to distract from the crisis in Ukraine.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) objected to the timing of President Joe Biden’s announcement of a Supreme Court nominee on Friday, citing the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops.

“President Biden’s announcement just days after an unprovoked full scale invasion by Russia is extremely inappropriate,” Blackburn said in a statement. “Once again, Biden is putting the demands of the radical progressive left ahead of what is best for our nation.”

The conservative Tennessee lawmaker accused the president of attempting “to hide that for over three months Biden refused to levy sanctions against Russia.”

Biden on Thursday announced another, tougher round of U.S. sanctions on Russia, seeking to inflict economic pain on the country as it continues to bomb Ukrainian population centers and march on its capital of Kyiv.

On Friday, Biden revealed that D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would be his Supreme Court nominee, fulfilling his pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court.

Biden laid out his plans for the Supreme Court long before Russia invaded Ukraine. In January, after Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, Biden vowed he would make a decision on Breyer’s successor by the end of February.

Blackburn, a conservative member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on the nomination, said she planned to meet with Jackson despite her gripes about the timing of the announcement.

“We must not blindly confirm a justice to serve as a rubber stamp for a radical progressive agenda,” Blackburn added in the statement.

Jackson is expected to get very few Republican votes for her confirmation, if any at all. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of three GOP senators who supported her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, didn’t seem happy Biden passed over his home-state district judge, Michelle Childs, for the job.

Graham said Biden’s decision to nominate Jackson “means the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again,” citing some labor groups’ criticism of Childs.

Still, Democrats won’t need any GOP votes to confirm Jackson if all 50 of their members are unified in supporting her. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who suffered a stroke earlier this month, is expected to return to the Senate before the vote takes place in the coming weeks.

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