A Black woman is pledged to be the successor of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer by President Joe Biden at a White House event on Thursday, and if selected, she would become the First Black Woman to the Supreme court.
Plans to name the nominee are underway by the end of February.
“I’ve made no decision except the one person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity,” Biden said. “And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue.”
The Associated Press reported that Breyer, 83, will retire at the end of the summer, but the senate may confirm his successor before then. It is expected to take at least a few weeks before the nomination is formalized.
Breyer is the oldest member of the court, who served 27 years on the bench, and as one of three remaining liberal justices.
“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 shortly before South Carolina’s presidential primary.
Justice Clarence Thomas is the court’s only Black justice and just the second-ever, after Thurgood Marshall. With Biden’s nominee, there will be four female justices and two Black justices serving at the same time on the nine-member court.
On Friday, a Whitehouse spokesperson confirmed that Biden is considering Judge J. Michelle Childs as a potential candidate. The Washington Post first reported the White House's confirmation that Biden was considering Childs.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will see Childs during a confirmation hearing next week on her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Contenders for the Supreme Court include federal appeals Judge Kentsnji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.