Before the end of February, the president of the United States will announce his choice for justice of the powerful Supreme Court, given the retirement of one of the nine justices, Stephen Breyer. Joe Biden has said in an appearance at the White House that the chosen one will in any case be a black woman.
“The selection process is going to be rigorous. I will select a candidate worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,” Biden said in the announcement, with the outgoing justice to his right. “The person I am appointing will be someone of exceptional qualities, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first black woman nominated to the Supreme Court», he added.
That had been his commitment in the electoral campaign.
Supreme Court positions are for life.
Donald Trump had the unique opportunity to elect three of the nine magistrates, giving rise to the most conservative Court in recent history, which this year is preparing to make a substantial revision of the abortion laws, after allowing abortion until viability of the fetus by a 1973 ruling.
Of the 115 justices who have served on the Supreme Court since 1789, two have been black, both men, and five have been women. One of the two black justices is Clarence Thomas, the most conservative of the current caucus. There have not been, as Biden says, any black women.
The president proposes a candidate for the Supreme, yeIt is the Senate that must vote on it. First it goes through the Justice commission, before which the candidate testifies. Then there is a vote in plenary, in which the candidate must obtain a simple majority, 51 votes out of 100.
After the 2020 elections, the Democrats were left with 50 votes in the Senate, and the Republicans another 50. Normally the vice president is the one who casts the tiebreaker vote, but the Constitution states that he can only do so in the case of laws, not to confirm nominees , the Supreme or other positions.
Depending on the profile that President Biden chooses, he will have support among centrist Republicans, such as Mitt Romney. Only 52 Republicans voted for Trump’s last choice, before the 2020 elections. All Democrats and conservative Susan Collins of Maine voted against it.
US analysts have already circulated several black female candidates whom the White House has begun to consider. The most prominent is Ketanji Brown Jackson, already nominated by Biden last year for the Court of Cassation of the District of Columbia and who left the Senate with the favorable vote of 50 Democrats and three Republicans. He has also received integers Leondra Kruger, who serves on the California Supreme Court.
Breyer was under heavy pressure from Democrats to retire, at age 83. He is considered progressive, in a bench in which there are only three of them left after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020. She was replaced by the judge considered conservative Amy Coney Barrett.
In his farewell, Judge Breyer said Thursday, “I greatly appreciate the privilege of having served as part of the federal court system. I have found the work stimulating and relevant. My relations with each of my colleagues have been warm and friendly. At all times, I have been aware of the great honor of participating as a judge in the joint effort to preserve our Constitution and the rule of law.”