President Joe Biden confirmed Thursday that he will nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, adding the decision will be announced by the end of February.
The president spoke in the White House’s Roosevelt Room alongside Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who officially announced his plans to retire Thursday. The 83-year-old justice is the second-longest serving current member, and his retirement will take effect at the start of summer recess as long his successor has been decided on and approved.
“Our process is going to be rigorous,” the president said on selecting Breyer’s successor. “I will select the nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency. While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one.”
“The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity,” the president continued. “And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my opinion.”
Biden said he has not yet made a decision, but promised one by the end of February. (RELATED: Biden ‘Has Not Dodged’ Court Packing Question, Just ‘Not Going To Answer,’ Says Campaign Co-Chairman)
The president noted in 2020 that he was already putting together a list of qualified black women – vowing at the time to nominate a black woman should he have the opportunity to do so – but declined to release it prior to a vetting process.
“I will listen carefully to all the advice I’m given, and I’ll study the records and former cases carefully,” the president said, noting that he plans to invite senators from both parties in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris for the review process.
“In the end, I will nominate a historic candidate, someone who is worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy, and someone who, like Justice Breyer, will provide incredible service on the United States Supreme Court,” Biden said.
While news of Breyer’s retirement plans broke Wednesday, the Justice formally announced his plan to retire in a letter to the president Thursday. Breyer said he appreciates “the privilege of serving as part of the federal judicial system” and found the work to be “challenging and meaningful.”
“My relations with each of my colleagues have been warm and friendly,” he added.