Back in December, there were rumors going around that President Joe Biden, with 2024 in view, was looking to ditch his unpopular vice president, Kamala Harris, by nominating her to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now that Biden has been presented with an opportunity to do so, thanks to Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, commentators, according to the Washington Examiner, are suggesting that Biden might just turn these rumors into a reality by nominating Harris to the court.
Besides the fact that nominating Harris to the Supreme Court would allow Biden to find a more popular running mate ahead of 2024, it would also allow him to make good on one of his campaign promises.
The reader may remember that, as a 2020 presidential candidate, Biden promised that, if given the opportunity as president, he would nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Harris, who has both Jamaican and Indian ancestry, would fit the bill.
Will it happen?
One question, of course, is whether Harris has the background required of a Supreme Court justice. And, the short answer is that she does, as those background requirements are not as stringent as one might expect.
Although she has no experience as a judge, Harris has a legal background having once been a San Francisco district attorney before becoming the attorney general of California.
Another question is whether she would get past the Senate confirmation process, and this is no guarantee at all with the current 50 to 50 makeup of the Senate.
Although only a simple majority is needed to confirm a Supreme Court justice, it would be unlikely that Harris would receive any Republican support, which could end up putting her in the position of casting the tie-breaking vote to put herself on the court. But, then again, there is no guarantee that all Senate Democrats would support Harris’s confirmation.
Still, another question is whether Harris would even want the job. In December, following those initial rumors, she suggested that she would not, stating during an interview on Face the Nation:
I’m much more active, I think, in terms of — not that — that Supreme Court Justices don’t have huge impact. But right now, I like what I’m doing, the ability to travel around the country, to talk with folks, to push for policy that has impact in more a — in a very direct way.
The White House weighs in
Following the news of Breyer’s retirement and the ensuing rumors that Biden will put Harris on the bench, the White House tried its best to squash the idea.
“The president has every intention, as he’s said before, of running for reelection, and for running for reelection with Vice President Harris on the ticket as his partner,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
So, when one combines all of this, it seems fairly unlikely that Harris will make it to the Supreme Court. But, with the way things are going these days, one can never say for sure.