WASHINGTON – Doug Jones, a former Democratic senator from Alabama, will guide President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee during the Senate confirmation process, two senior administration officials said. know on Tuesday.
Mr. Jones, who has left the Senate in 2021 and is shortlisted to serve as Mr. Biden’s attorney general, will be called the Senate sherpa for Mr. Biden’s nominee. The president has promised to cast a black woman for the role, a decision that has drawn opposition from Republicans and heralded a controversial process.
The Sherpas have borrowed their nickname from the people living in the Himalayas and are known for their ability to guide visitors through treacherous terrain, including at high altitudes and in icy conditions.
Once Mr. Biden selects a nominee, Mr. Jones will introduce her to the senators and prepare her for the hearings. Mr. Jones, who served a three-year Senate term, has far less experience than some of his sherpa predecessors, including Jon Kyl, who served three terms as senator Republican senator from Arizona and guided Brett M. Kavanaugh through one of the more bittersweet Senate confirmation hearings processes in recent history.
But Mr Jones is the first Democrat in decades to hold the Senate seat in an ultra-conservative state.
In 2017, Kelly Ayotte, a Republican senator from New Hampshire, sponsored Neil M. Gorsuch during his confirmation process.
“Well, that’s a funny name,” she told NPR at the time, “because sherpa means to take someone up a mountain.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/us/politics/doug-jones-supreme-court.html White House chooses Doug Jones to guide Supreme Court nominee