Sen. Hirono urges Republicans to be 'open-minded' to Biden SCOTUS pick as she continues bashing Trump justices

Media top headlines January 27

In media news today, CNN’s Jim Acosta compares Virginia to a ‘Soviet-style police state’ under Glenn Youngkin, Deadspin updates a Mike McDaniel hit piece after knocking the biracial 49ers coach as ‘another young, white guy,’ and Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court retirement is touted as a political opportunity for Biden

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii is urging her Republican colleagues to be “open-minded” when it comes to President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee. 

Following the official announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement on Thursday, Hirono appeared on CNN and praised Biden’s vow to nominate a Black woman to the highest court in the land, calling the pick “so important” since she will “reflect the diversity of the court,” which she suggested did not reflect the “diversity” of the country in various 6-3 rulings. 

“What I have always looked for in all of the judicial nominees, because these are lifetime appointments, is someone who can be fair and impartial and not having an ideological ax to grind, which was mainly the kind of nominees that President Trump sent to us, including, by the way, as far as I’m concerned, the three Supreme Court nominees or now justices,” Hirono told CNN anchor Victor Blackwell. 

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“I’m looking to make sure, though, that all the Democrats who voted unanimously for all of President Biden’s judicial nominees, my expectation is that there will be strong Democratic support for whoever the Supreme Court nominee is, and it would be great if we could get some Republicans to be open-minded about it and support someone who can be fair and evenhanded and impartial on the Supreme Court,” Hirono said.

Hirono went on to thank Breyer for his “advocacy” on issues like “voting rights, reproductive choice and healthcare support” from his decades on the bench. 

“That’s the kind of justice that I hope will- I know that President Biden will nominate- and I hope that the Republicans can see their way to support such a justice,” Hirono added. 

Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announces his retirement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. President Biden looks on. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Despite her plea to GOP lawmakers, Hirono does not have a strong track record of being “open-mind” when it came to previous SCOTUS nominees. 

In 2020, Hirono offered a resounding “hell no” on the Senate floor during the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett after she refused to meet with the Trump nominee.

Even before Justice Brett Kavanaugh was tapped for the highest court in 2018, Hirono declared she was a “no” vote, saying “it doesn’t matter who [President Trump] is putting forward” after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. On the day Trump tapped Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat, Hirono released a statement insisting Gorsuch “will be a rubber stamp for the President’s radical agenda.” 

In an interview published last year, Hirono accused Kavanaugh of being a “political operative” and knocked Gorsuch for being so “literal” about the law.

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