Former GOP Sen. Jon Kyl To Serve As ‘Sherpa’ For Next SCOTUS Nominee

Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Group

Former Arizona Sen. John Kyl, who served as Senate minority whip from late 2007 to 2013, will act as “sherpa” for President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee.

“Former Sen. Jon Kyl has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.

Sherpas — a reference to the guides who lead climbers up Mount Everest — are responsible for accompanying nominees as they visit with senators and face confirmation hearings.

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte acted as sherpa for then-nominee Neil Gorsuch ahead of his 54-45 confirmation vote to the Supreme Court in April of last year.

Shah has paused his other White House duties to lead the yet-unnamed nominee through his or her confirmation. White House counsel Don McGahn’s office is overseeing the effort.

The White House noted Kyl served on the Senate Judiciary Committee “during the confirmations of 4 of the last 5 justices who have joined the Supreme Court.”

Two months after his last Senate term ended in early 2013, Kyl announced that he was joining Covington & Burling, the well-known lobbying firm.

This post has been updated. 

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