Currents News Staff
A Supreme Court pick can be a president’s most lasting legacy. Justices can serve for decades. Their decisions can last for generations. Former President Trump solidified a Conservative majority with his three court picks.
“I have long been told that the most important decision a president can make is the appointment of a Supreme Court justice,” Trump said.
For Breyer’s spot, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is seen as the frontrunner.
A former Supreme Court clerk for Breyer, she was vetted recently by Biden and his team and confirmed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the seat left vacant by Attorney General Merrick Garland. The circuit is seen as a feeder for the High Court and the move was meant to groom her for a justice position if a vacancy came open.
“When you become a judge, you take an oath to look only at the law in deciding your cases,” said Justice Jackson. “That you set aside your personal views about the circumstances, the defendants or anything else.”
A close second choice is California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger – a former acting deputy solicitor general in the Obama administration, she argued a dozen cases before the court. While she has not been thoroughly vetted by the administration, she once clerked for the late Justice John Paul Stevens.
“I think we tend to forget when we’re in the outside world that really conversations about these very difficult cases are confined to a very small number of people,” said Justice Kruger.
Other names circulating: Minnesota District Court Judge Mimi Wright; Outgoing NAACP Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Iffil; Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Eunice Lee; Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi and J. Michelle Childs, a South Carolina judge who’s been pushed by House Majority Whip James Clyburn.
“I have a high regard and sincere appreciation for our legal system, which is the form of order in our court, in our democracy,” said Judge Childs.
During the 2020 campaign, Clyburn gave Biden the endorsement he needed to help boost his floundering candidacy after Biden promised to appoint a black woman.
“This country is at an inflection point. It is time to restore this country’s dignity,” said Rep. Clyburn.
The eventual nominee will likely face a daunting confirmation process: Breyer told several people who nudged him to retire the confirmation process shouldn’t be political.
“If the public sees judges as politicians in robes, its confidence in the courts and in the rule of law itself can only diminish,” said Justice Breyer.
Wth the 2022 midterms looming, senate Republicans have already raised the stakes around Justice Breyer’s retirement, with five GOP lawmakers saying they would likely oppose any nominee out of this White House if they take the majority in November.