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Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan Had a Stroke, Which Might Hinder Vice President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court Nomination Prospects.


Key Points

  • New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, 49, is in the hospital after suffering a stroke and undergoing surgery, his office said.
  • Lujan, a Democrat, is “expected to make a full recovery,” his chief of staff, Carlos Sanchez, said in a statement.
  • Lujan’s recovery and presumed absence from Washington could complicate Democrats’ efforts to quickly appoint a successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Lujan had a stroke last week and had brain surgery, his office said Tuesday.

Carlos Sanchez, Lujan’s chief of staff, said in a statement that the Democrat is in the hospital and that he is “expected to make a full recovery.” Lujan is a Democrat.
The 49-year-old senator felt dizzy and tired early Thursday, Sanchez said. He was taken to the hospital and found to have had a stroke in his cerebellum.

Lujan’s recovery and possible absence from Washington could make it more difficult for Democrats to quickly pick a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Biden said he expects to make his choice by the end of this month.
He says he will pick a black woman to replace Breyer, and he wants to do it quickly.

In the Senate, the Democrats have a very small majority. They are in charge of putting new justices on the Supreme Court.
The chamber is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, and Vice President Kamala Harris has the power to break the tie.

As long as Lujan isn’t there, Democrats don’t have enough people to vote on a Supreme Court justice on a party-line vote.

There is a good chance that Breyer will step down this summer. He has said that the time he steps down will be based on whether or not his successor is confirmed.

When NBC News asked Lujan’s office when they thought he would be back at work, they didn’t say anything.

 Vice President Joe Biden was aware of Lujan’s condition, or if there was any sense at the White House about how long it might take for Lujan to get better. A White House spokesman didn’t answer right away.

Sanchez said that Lujan started to feel dizzy and tired early Thursday morning.
“He went to Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Santa Fe and checked himself in,” says the man.
He was then sent to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque for more tests.

The senator was found to have had a stroke in the cerebellum, which made him lose his balance.
His treatment plan called for him to have surgery to reduce swelling, so he had that done.

At the moment, he is being cared for at the UNM Hospital. He is resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery.
Sen. Sanchez’s office is still open and will keep providing constituent services to all New Mexicons without any interruption, he said.


Thanks to all the great people at UNM Hospital and Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital, the Senator’s family and friends would like to say that they were very well taken care of.
Senator Luján is excited to get back to work for the people of New Mexico after taking a few weeks off.
During this time, he and his family would like to keep their private lives, and the chief of staff asked for your prayers and well-wishes to keep going.

Even after the Senate votes on the president’s or her choice, it can take a long time for them to get to the hearing stage.
For modern nominees, the Congressional Research Service says it takes on average 41 days to get a vote.

The White House thinks its nominee for the Supreme Court will get at least a few votes from Republicans during her confirmation. Even though Congress is very divided, the White House thinks this will happen.

If Democrats try to pass a lot of Biden’s Build Back Better Act on party lines, it might make Republicans cross the aisle.

Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is not related to Lujan, is the governor of the state. If Lujan can’t come back to work, she will pick someone else.
All but certain that she would put someone from her own party in Lujan’s place.




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