(LibertySociety.com) – President Joe Biden must pick a replacement for Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court after he announced his retirement on January 26. Although Biden hasn’t chosen a specific replacement, Court watchers speculate there are three top candidates on his radar to replace Breyer. The president pledged several times to appoint a Black woman to the seat, a move which he stated was “long overdue.”
Former President Bill Clinton nominated the liberal judge in 1994 to replace former Justice Harry Blackmun. Justice Breyer served honorably for 27 years on the bench.
Given the precedent set by former President Donald Trump in nominating conservative judges while in the White House, it’s likely Biden will choose a left-leaning judge, in kind.
Biden’s Top Choices
The president is currently studying the potential candidates’ backgrounds to make a final decision, but there are a few who seem to be at the top of his list. Apparently, Biden already met with Breyer’s former clerk, Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal trial court judge in DC, to see if she’s a good fit for the position. Former President Barack Obama nominated her to her current role.
Another possibility is US District Judge J. Michelle Childs of South Carolina, who Obama also nominated to the court. She’s notorious for her hard work and unique combination of caring for others and analytic prowess. California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger is another candidate. She’s a Harvard and Yale Law School graduate and has already argued many cases before the SCOTUS.
The president expects to choose and make a nomination for the Senate’s confirmation by the end of February. Although experts suspect his choice will be a Liberal judge, his choice will not affect the Conservative lean of the court.
The Upcoming Process
Once the president nominates a replacement for Breyer, he must submit the selection to the Senate for confirmation. The justice must receive 50 votes for confirmation. Since Democrats hold that many seats, whoever Biden nominates will likely go through. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to promptly hold a “hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee” to confirm the selection with “deliberate speed.”
Although Breyer doesn’t plan to step down and officially retire until the end of June, Senate sources stated the Upper Chamber does not have to wait until he leaves to vote for Biden’s nominee.
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