Joe Biden: “Standing By Promise” To Appoint Black Woman To Supreme Court

On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the President would stand by his campaign promise to name a black woman to the Supreme Court, immediately following the initial reports that Justice Stephen Breyer would announce his retirement at the end of the court’s current term.

Breyer, 83, has assisted on the high court for 27 years since being appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 87-9. His retirement presents Biden with his first appointment to the court.

In Wednesday’s press briefing, Psaki gave no clues about Biden’s exact plans on making the appointment. She reaffirmed Biden’s promise from the 2020 election season that he would choose a black woman for the post. Psaki refused any further comment at the time, pending Breyer’s formal announcement of his plan to retire.

The reported list of possible candidates includes federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who once served as a law clerk to Breyer. California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger has also been identified as a possible nominee.

Psaki fielded several reporters asking if Vice President Kamala Harris might be the nominee. She refused to comment on any possible names for a list of considered candidates. Psaki added that Biden announced his intention to reelect in 2024, with Vice President Harris remaining on the ticket.

Breyer is the oldest justice serving on the high court and is one of three liberals and Justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Many progressive and Democratic activists have been pressuring Breyer to retire to allow Biden to name a younger liberal justice. Democrats have the majority in the Senate provided by Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he was committing the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule a “prompt hearing” for Biden’s upcoming nominee. He added that a confirmation vote before the full Senate would come with “all deliberate speed.”

While several Republicans have questioned Biden’s commitment to only consider black females as possible candidates for the spot, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said this week that he plans to give the upcoming nominee a “fair look.”