Here’s who Biden might tap to replace Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court

Here's who Biden might tap to replace Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court

President Biden pledged to pick a black woman as his first nominee to the US Supreme Court — and White House discussions are reportedly focused on three, including one he already elevated to an influential appeals court.

US Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, US District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger are the early front-runners to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, four sources familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Jackson, 51, was a Washington, DC, federal judge until Biden tapped her to replace Merrick Garland, now the US attorney general, on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

That court often serves as a steppingstone to the Supreme Court, and Brown’s confirmation in June was widely seen as a sign she would she’d top Biden’s shortlist for any vacancies on the high court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is among the leading candidates to replace Justice Breyer. 
Tom Williams/Pool via AP, File

In January, Brown was among three judges who ruled against former President Donald Trump in his bid to withhold documents from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Brown also ruled in 2019 that former White House counsel Don McGahn had to testify at a hearing that led to Trump’s first impeachment by the House, a decision that was later overturned.

Childs, 55, has been a federal judge in South Carolina since 2010 and in December was nominated by Biden for a seat on the DC Court of Appeals.

Judge J. Michelle Childs
Judge J. Michelle Childs is a front-runner to fill the soon-to-be-vacant spot on the Supreme Court.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File
Leondra Kruger
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger is also considered a top candidate to receive President Biden’s nomination to the high court.
AP Photo/S. Todd Rogers, Pool, File

Childs is reportedly favored by US Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), who endorsed Biden ahead of his state’s crucial Democratic primary election, which is widely credited with turning the tide in Biden’s favor and helping him win the nomination.

Kruger, 45, would be the youngest nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas was put forth at age 43 by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

As a top lawyer in the US Solicitor General’s Office, Kruger argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court on behalf of the federal government and as a judge, she wrote a precedent-reversing ruling that required a warrant be obtained before cops search a vehicle, according to Bloomberg.

Sherrilyn Ifill
Sherrilyn Ifill is reportedly under consideration for President Biden’s Supreme Court nomination.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for AOL
Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner
Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, sister of Stacey Abrams, is also being reviewed for a potential Supreme Court nomination.
Chapman University Fowler School

Others reportedly under consideration include Georgia federal Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, a sister of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and Sherrilyn Ifill, the outgoing head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and a cousin of the late PBS journalist Gwen Ifill.

There was also speculation Wednesday that Biden might nominate embattled Vice President Kamala Harris, but he refused to discuss Breyer’s retirement with reporters, saying, “Let him make whatever statement he’s going to make and I’ll be happy to talk about it later.”

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