“The other two leading candidates have gone through the process or are in the process,” Durbin said.
Childs is currently Biden’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, while Jackson was confirmed to that court last year. If he chooses Jackson for Supreme Court, it would open another vacancy on the powerful appeals court, while Childs’ elevation to the Supreme Court would open up a district court seat and force the White House to find another candidate for the DC circuit.
As Biden weighs his decision, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins to staff. So far, Democrats on the committee have hired two additional attorneys and more hires are expected, according to the staffer familiar with the matter.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee, noted that anyone who appoints Biden will have to go through an FBI background check. He also predicted that picking someone who’s already been through the committee wouldn’t “dramatically change the timeline, because everyone kind of sees the Supreme Court as one-time judicial work.”
“It might speed things up a bit, but everyone will still want to go through kabuki,” Cornyn said.
Democrats are trying to meet the standard set by the GOP when confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, which took about a month from the time she was nominated as Republicans raced to confirm her before the presidential election. And it helped that the Judiciary Committee approved her for a judgeship on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, just three years before her Supreme Court confirmation.
On Sunday, Sen. Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) posted a video in which he said he would return to the Senate 50-50 in “a few weeks” and vote for the next Supreme Court justice. Once Luján returns, Democrats can confirm a nominee without any GOP votes.