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GOP Senate would refuse to fill Supreme Court vacancies in second Biden term: insider

Republicans in the Senate would refuse to fill Supreme Court vacancies should they retake the chamber in a second term for President Biden, Senate GOP insiders told The Post.

The move — a reprisal of the party’s stonewalling tactics after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 — would allow the GOP to prevent Democrats from expanding their bloc on the high court for years and limit their own future losses.

The issue has returned to the fore once again as Democrats fret about the health of Justice Sonia Sotomayor during a contentious election year.

“I think Republicans would be prepared to stonewall any Biden Supreme Court nominee that was unacceptable to the Republican conference” a senior GOP aide close to Senate leadership told The Post.

The aide said a liberal justice, such as Ketanji Brown Jackson, would be a non-starter for a GOP-controlled Senate.

“Do you think [Democratic Sen. Chuck] Schumer would vote to confirm a Trump judge? No way. These people want to pack the Supreme Court,” the insider said of Dems.

The race for control of the Senate heavily favors Republicans. Of 33 seats up for grabs, Democrats and independents aligned with them will be defending 22, while Republicans will guard just 11. Republicans have an almost guaranteed victory in deep red West Virginia, where Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is retiring. Democratic senators in Ohio and Montana are also under threat as both states will likely back Trump by large margins.

Conservatives maintain a 6-3 majority on the court. The lopsided relationship is due in part to liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s decision to remain on the bench throughout years of ill heath before dying in 2020 — and allowing the Trump administration to replace her with conservative Amy Coney Barrett.

Many progressives are looking nervously at Sotomayor, who will turn 70 in June. The justice has long suffered from Type 1 diabetes and she often travels with a personal medic, public records show.

Earlier this year Sotomayor told an audience she was “tired”  from her demanding workload, and griped that she “lived in frustration” as a result of constantly being on the losing end to her conservative colleagues.

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“I think that the Ginsburg thing traumatized people,” said veteran Democratic strategist James Carville. “People are aware of this.”

After this year, there is no saying when Democrats will hold both the White House and Senate again. A public call for Sotomayor to retire in the leftist Atlantic Magazine this week has been widely circulated.

Longtime friend Dawn Cardi — insisted the Bronx-born justice is fine.

“I can say she is absolutely in excellent health,” Cardi, a Brooklyn attorney, told The Post.

A second Sotomayor friend said the judge was “committed to the court” — and isn’t going anywhere.

Latino voters are a key swing demographic in the 2024 presidential race, with polls showing their support up for grabs. When asked about the situation, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that the matter was a “personal decision” for Sotomayor to make.

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