Writing in a “Dear Colleague” letter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear that Democrats are “ready to expeditiously fill” Supreme Court vacancies as Democrats also weigh a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution.
“Alongside these crucial legislative priorities, the Senate will continue to confirm more of President Biden’s highly qualified judicial nominees. … We will continue this critical work in the months to come. As always, Senate Democrats stand ready to expeditiously fill any potential vacancies on the Supreme Court should they arise,” Schumer wrote in the letter.
Schumer made clear that colleagues should be prepared to work long nights, over the weekends and into the scheduled August recess to finish their work.
“Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do. Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period,” he wrote.
There is not currently a vacancy on the Supreme Court but progressives have been pressuring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer to retire to ensure that the vacancy occurs while the Democrats are in control of the Senate. Breyer has not indicated that he will retire. However, if he did, the vacancy would allow President Biden to nominate someone younger and perhaps bring more diversity to the court even if a Democratic appointment does not affect the current 6-3 conservative majority.