Is This Woman Biden's Supreme Court Pick?

Posted: Jan 26, 2022 1:15 PM
Is This Woman Biden's Supreme Court Pick?

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn't comment when asked about the potential for Vice President Kamala Harris to be nominated for the Supreme Court. Psaki also confirmed Biden plans to discriminate against candidates who are not female and black. 

***Original post***

During the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden promised to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court if a vacancy became available. 

"As president, I'd be honored, honored to appoint the first African American woman. Because it should look like the country. It’s long past time," Biden said in February 2020. 

"We are putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be on the court," he followed up in June. 

In March 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is "absolutely" committed to his promise if the opportunity presented itself. With the news of Justice Breyer's retirement, Biden may have his chance, and Vice President Kamala Harris is at the forefront of many people's minds. 

If it isn't Harris, Biden has other choices. From NBC News

Supreme Court justices are usually elevated from a federal appeals court. Eleven of the last 12 confirmed justices were plucked from an appellate court — the exception was Elena Kagan, who was the U.S. solicitor general, a position so embedded with the institution it has been nicknamed “the tenth justice.”

Only five black women are now on U.S. appeals courts, and all of them will be 68 or older this year, according to data compiled by NBC News from the Federal Judicial Center.

Biden would face pressure to pick someone younger who could secure the seat for a generation or more. None of the last seven confirmed justices were older than 55 when nominated.

There are only nine Democratic-appointed black women on the federal bench younger than 55 this year. All are district court judges picked by President Barack Obama. The youngest is Leslie Abrams Gardner, 45, the sister of Biden vice presidential contender Stacey Abrams. Another name that stands out is Ketanji Brown Jackson, 49, a judge in Washington who was on Obama’s Supreme Court shortlist in 2016.