Psaki insists Harris will be closely involved in search for Breyer’s replacement

When news broke that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer would be retiring later this year, some pundits speculated that President Joe Biden could nominate Vice President Kamala Harris to fill the vacancy.

Instead, new reports indicate that the vice president is expected to play a central role in the nomination process.

“Sort of a bittersweet day for me”

As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained on Thursday, “the president intends to consult with her very closely” as he makes his decision.

Breyer confirmed his impending retirement in a statement on the same day during a news conference alongside Biden. The 83-year-old justice is set to step down at the end of the current term.

As for the role Harris will play in selecting Breyer’s successor, Psaki said: “Obviously, she has a long history, as a former attorney general, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, and [Biden] respects her opinion greatly.”

For his part, Biden signaled the importance of the process without offering any specifics regarding the names he is considering. He did, however, note that he would make good on a campaign promise by selecting “the first Black woman ever nominated” to serve on the nation’s highest court.

“Extraordinary qualifications”

“Choosing someone to sit on the Supreme Court, I believe, is one of the most serious constitutional responsibilities a president has,” Biden said. “The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity.”

In addition to Harris, the president is expected to rely on input from various Democratic leaders as he makes his decision.

Biden vowed as a candidate to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court and he appears determined to keep that promise. As his popularity among American voters continues to plummet, this opportunity could provide the political win he needs as Democrats prepare for a tough midterm election season.

Of course, plenty of Biden’s Republican critics do not support his plan.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, for example, tweeted: “Would be nice if Pres Biden chose a Supreme Court nominee who was best qualified without a race/gender litmus test.”

Share on facebook
Share To Facebook

Welcome to our comments section. We want to hear from you!

Any comments with profanity, advocacy of violence, harassment, personally identifiable information or other violations will be removed. If you feel your comment has been removed in error please contact us!

Latest Posts