Biden Announces Meeting With A Republican Senator To Discuss SCOTUS Nominee

(Screenshot/YouTube/CNBC Television)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden will meet with Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to discuss his upcoming selection of a Supreme Court nominee, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday.

Durbin and Grassley are the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from their respective parties, with Durbin serving as chairman and Grassley as ranking member. Psaki made the announcement during a White House press briefing Monday, saying Biden’s consultations with senators and legal experts will begin with Grassley and Durbin’s visit Tuesday. Biden’s nominee will replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the court, who formally announced his retirement Friday.

“Tomorrow the President is going to host Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley at the White House to consult with them and hear their advice about this vacancy,” Psaki said. “Chairman Durbin has worked on seven Supreme Court confirmation processes. The President has also worked for many years with Senator Grassley and respects his knowledge and views.”

Justice Stephen Breyer. (screenshot/NBC News)

Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement on January 27. (screenshot/NBC News)

Psaki went on to say Biden plans to meet with legal scholars as well as Vice President Kamala Harris in the weeks ahead to narrow down a selection. Biden has already promised that his nominee will be a black woman, but has ruled out Harris herself. Biden says he will announce his nominee by the end of February. (RELATED: Biden ‘Has Not Dodged’ Court Packing Question, Just ‘Not Going To Answer,’ Says Campaign Co-Chairman)

“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.”

Americans largely oppose Biden’s pledge to only consider black women for the seat, however, according to a poll from USA Today and Ipsos released Sunday. The poll surveyed 510 adults between Jan. 28-29 and found that 76% of respondents stated that Biden should consider “all possible” candidates, while just 23% stated he should stick with his pledge to only consider black women.