Marco Rubio weighs in on Stephen Breyer vacancy, says Supreme Court justices aren’t ‘policymakers’

Rubio, Marco - 3
Joe Biden's preferred replacement has yet to be announced.

Facing what is likely to be a tough re-election campaign against likely Democratic nominee Val Demings, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio did not offer a partisan reaction Thursday to the prospect of President Joe Biden filling a pending Supreme Court opening.

The Senator, seeking his third term this year, avoided partisan rhetoric and sounded like he was willing to listen, but he did offer some warnings against judicial activism nonetheless.

“I think the important thing to remember is that Supreme Court justices are not policymakers. They’re not lawmakers. Their job is not to pass laws or make laws. Their job is to interpret the Constitution and apply it, whether they agree with the policy outcome or not,” Rubio said.

“And I have long said and will always say, whoever the President nominates, I’m going to judge them by that criteria. Are they a judge, are they a nominee with a history of understanding that the job of the Supreme Court is not to make the law, but to apply the Constitution to the question before them, irrespective of whether they agree with the policy outcome or not?” Rubio added.

“We’ve got to get back to that principle, because that’s how our country was designed,” Rubio concluded.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement Thursday. He will serve on the Court until a replacement is confirmed by the Senate. President Biden has vowed to select a Black woman for the open position.

Shortlist candidates identified by the Associated Press include California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, prominent civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill and U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs.

In a 50-50 Senate and with Vice President Kamala Harris holding a tiebreaker vote if needed, Republicans know they are effectively powerless to stop a pick Democrats can agree on.

Sen. Rick Scott, who is not running for re-election this year, suggested that leadership pressure would make Democrats “walk the plank.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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