Biden meets at White House with Senate Judiciary's Durbin, Grassley to discuss SCOTUS vacancy, picks

Biden led Judiciary committee when he was a senator

Updated: February 1, 2022 - 1:29pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Biden will meet Tuesday with Senate Judiciary Committee leaders to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy and his promise to nominate a black woman to the bench. 

The meeting follows the retirement announcement last week of Justice Stephen Breyer and Biden reiterating his 2020 campaign promise about a high court nomination.

The 83-year-old Breyer will retire at the end of the term. His replacement will not change the so-called ideological balance of the nine-member court, which is now 6-to-3 in favor of conservatives.

The nominee would have to pass Senate confirmation, which begins in the Judiciary committee with a hearing and likely recommendation for a full Senate vote. The full chamber is evenly split 50-50 between Republicans and senators from Biden’s Democratic Party. 

However, Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the deciding yes, if the president's nomination gets no support from Senate Republicans. 

White House aides said Biden's list of potential candidates is longer than three, according to the Associated Press

The White House says the president is not open to choosing a nominee on her likelihood of garnering bipartisan support.

Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the panel’s top Republican, will meet with Biden at the White House to go over potential nominees.

Biden led the Judiciary committee when he was a senator and presided over the confirmations of six high court picks, including Breyer.

Some Republicans have already voiced support for U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs, who is a favorite of key Democratic ally South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn. 

Other nominees under consideration include Ketanji Brown Jackson, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger; U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright from Minnesota; and Melissa Murray, a New York University law professor who is an expert in family law and reproductive rights justice, also according to the wire service.