Here’s what Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly say about Supreme Court vacancy

Jan 27, 2022, 4:00 PM

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, left, and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona. (Getty Images Photos)...

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, left, and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona. (Getty Images Photos)

(Getty Images Photos)

PHOENIX — With Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer retiring, Arizona’s U.S. senators said Thursday they are looking forward to the confirmation process.

It will be the second time Sen. Kyrsten Sinema takes part in a Supreme Court confirmation, and the first for Sen. Mark Kelly.

“I join all Arizonans in thanking him for his service and life-long commitment to American justice,” Sinema said in a statement.

“As with all nominees and as I did during the 2020 Supreme Court nomination, I look forward to fulfilling my constitutional duty to provide advice and consent by thoughtfully examining the next nominee based on three criteria: whether the nominee is professionally qualified, believes in the role of an independent judiciary, and can be trusted to faithfully interpret and uphold the rule of law.”

In October 2020, Sinema voted against confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to the seat that opened when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

Sinema explained her opposition by saying she was “concerned about Judge Barrett’s inconsistent views on legal precedent, and how those inconsistencies impact her obligation to interpret and uphold the rule of law.”

Republicans controlled the Senate at the time and were able to confirm Barrett with no Democratic support by a 52-48 margin.

Sinema and Kelly are members of the party that now has control of the Senate, although by the slimmest of margins. If no Republicans support President Joe Biden’s selection, Democrats will need to be unanimous in their support to confirm the nominee.

“Justice Breyer has long understood the impact of the Supreme Court on the lives of Americans, and he leaves behind a legacy of upholding the Constitution as well as health care protections, free speech, and reproductive rights for Arizonans,” Kelly said in a statement.

“I take seriously the responsibility of evaluating nominees for lifetime appointments, and look forward to meeting with whomever the president puts forward to fill this vacancy. I will evaluate the president’s nominee based on their qualifications and commitment to fairly interpret and uphold the Constitution.”

Biden said Thursday he’ll make his pick by the end of February.

“I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be somebody of extraordinary qualifications, character and integrity,” he said. “And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It is long overdue.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Arizona man sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor

An Arizona man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor, authorities said Tuesday.

1 day ago

Sean Bickings (Family Photo via city of Tempe)...

Associated Press

Family of man who drowned last year in Tempe Town Lake files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man who drowned in Tempe Town Lake a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city Wednesday, noting that its police department doesn't have a policy requiring officers to go into the water to save someone.

1 day ago

FILE - Cracked dry mud is seen in a community reservoir that ran nearly empty after its retaining w...

Brandon Gray

BLM to invest over $15M in Arizona for landscape restoration project

The Bureau of Land Management has selected Arizona for its “Restoration Landscapes” project. 

1 day ago

(AP Photo/Alberto Mariani, File)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona official who claimed election deniers made work ‘toxic’ gets $130K settlement

A former elections official for a rural Arizona county where leaders have embraced election conspiracy theories has received a $130,000 settlement over toxic work environment claims.

1 day ago

The stretch of 12th Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets at the Zone homeless encampment...

Kevin Stone

2nd block cleared out in Phoenix’s Zone homeless encampment

A second block at the Zone homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix was cleared Wednesday as enhanced cleanup operations continue.

1 day ago

Booking photo for Melissa Larue, who was released from the hospital and taken to jail after getting...

Woman shot by Phoenix officers last week jailed after release from hospital

A woman shot by police officers in Phoenix last week has been released from the hospital and taken to jail, authorities said.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

Here’s what Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly say about Supreme Court vacancy