Washington, Jan 27 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said Thursday that before the end of February he will announce his nominee to replace retiring progressive Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and he confirmed that his pick will be an African American woman, as he had promised during his presidential campaign.
Biden appeared before reporters along with Breyer at the White House shortly after the magistrate made the announcement of his retirement this summer official, and he confirmed that he will fulfill his 2020 campaign promise to select an African American woman to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat on the high court.
The president said that he intends to announce his pick for the high court “before the end of February.”
“I have made no choice at this point,” Biden said. “In the end, I will nominate a historic candidate, someone who is worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy.”
“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the 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 in my opinion, I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment,” the president said.
Approving a new high court justice is the task of the US Senate, where Democrats have a slim majority but cannot afford to lose a single vote.
Biden said that he will consult with members of both parties – Democrats and Republicans – and will seek the advice of legal experts, attorneys and Vice President Kamala Harris, who served as California’s attorney general and was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee once she became a senator.
Although Biden avoided speculating, some of the names that have been heard with increasing frequency since Breyer’s intention to retire after the current high court session ends was made public on Wednesday have been Leondra Kruger, a current California Supreme Court justice, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was considered by former President Barack Obama for a high court vacancy and who clerked for Breyer himself.
Only two African Americans – Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas – have ever served as Supreme Court justices, along with just five women, including three of the court’s current magistrates: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett.
The US Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who are appointed for life, and the body currently consists of six conservatives and three progressives, with Breyer in the latter group.
Biden’s nomination will be of a similar ideological stance as Breyer, and thus this will not alter the current make-up of the high court, which has not been as conservative as it presently is since the 1930s.