During the 2020 presidential campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden vowed to make history if elected by nominating the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
In a Feb. 2020 debate, Biden said, “I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court…not a joke. I pushed very hard for that.”
And in a debate a month later, Biden said, “I commit that if I’m elected president and have an opportunity to appoint someone to the court, I’ll appoint the first Black woman to the court.”
“It’s required that they have representation now — it’s long overdue,” he added.
Watch the moment below:
“I’ll appoint the first Black woman to the Court. It’s required that they have representation now — it’s long overdue.”
— Then-presidential candidate Biden during March 2020 debate pic.twitter.com/gA1QKuVTPG
— The Recount (@therecount) January 26, 2022
Biden made history in 2020 when he selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate, the first woman of color to serve as vice president.
Breyer’s retirement would give Biden his first opportunity to fill a vacancy on the high court.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if Biden would honor his pledge.
“The President has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court and certainly stands by that,” Psaki responded.
.@PressSec: “The President has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court and certainly stands by that."
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) January 26, 2022
However, the press secretary said she would not comment further on a nomination until Breyer makes an official statement announcing his resignation.
Breyer, 83, has been on the court for more than 27 years.
While replacing Breyer would not alter the balance of the Supreme Court, it would prevent a repeat of the scenario that played out with Justice Antonio Scalia’s death in 2016 when Senate Republicans blocked then-President Barack Obama from filling his seat.
Progressives have called for Breyer to step down before the 2022 elections over concerns that the balance of power in the Senate could shift.
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