At least 3 justices eye to eye as US President Biden mulls Supreme Court pick

President Joe Biden is considering at least three justices for a Supreme Court vacancy as he prepares to quickly deliver on his campaign promise to appoint the first black woman to the nation’s highest court, aides and allies say .

As Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire, early talk of a successor focuses on U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger , according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke conditionally. anonymity to discuss White House deliberations. Jackson and Kruger have long been considered potential candidates.

Since Biden took office in January 2021, he has focused on appointing a diverse group of justices to the federal bench, installing five black women on federal appeals courts, with three other appointments pending before the Senate. Other possible high court nominees could come from this group, Biden aides and allies said, especially since nearly all recent Supreme Court nominees have been federal appellate judges.

It has a strong pool to select a candidate from, in addition to other sources. This is a historic opportunity to nominate someone with a strong civil and human rights record, said NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

By the end of his freshman year, Biden had won confirmation from 40 judges, the most since President Ronald Reagan. Among them, 80% are women and 53% are people of color, according to the White House.

Jackson, 51, was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a district court judge. Biden elevated her to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Early in her career, she also served as a law clerk at Breyer.

Childs, a federal judge from South Carolina, has been nominated but not yet confirmed to serve on the same circuit court. His name has surfaced in part because he is a favorite of some high-profile lawmakers, including Rep. James Clyburn, DS.C.

Kruger, a graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School, was previously a clerk of the Supreme Court and argued a dozen cases before judges as a federal government attorney.

Breyer, 83, will retire at the end of the summer, according to two sources who confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to anticipate Breyer’s official announcement.

But the Senate can confirm a successor before there is an official vacancy, so the White House was getting down to business and it was expected to take at least a few weeks before a nomination was made official.

Biden said Wednesday he was not going to preempt Breyer’s announcement.

Every judge should have the ability to decide what he or she is going to do and announce it for themselves,” Biden said. “Let him make the statement he or she is going to make and I will be happy to to talk later.

When Biden was running for the White House, he said if he had the chance to nominate someone to court, he would make history by choosing a black woman. And he has reiterated that commitment ever since.

As president, I would be honored, honored to name the first African American woman. Because it should look like the country. It’s high time, Biden said in February 2020 shortly before South Carolina’s presidential primary.

Adding a black woman to the court would mean a series of first four women judges and two black judges serving at the same time on the nine-member court. Judge Clarence Thomas is the only black judge on the court and just the second, after Thurgood Marshall.

And Biden would have the chance to show increasingly frustrated black voters with a president they helped elect that he’s serious about their concerns, especially after he was unable to pass legislation on the right to vote.

At the same time, replacing Breyer with another liberal judge would not change the ideological makeup of the court. Conservatives outnumber liberals by 6 to 3, and Donald Trump’s three nominees have made an already conservative court even more conservative.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Biden’s nominee will receive a speedy hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be reviewed and confirmed by the full U.S. Senate with speed. deliberate.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Kevin E. Boling