White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden is “absolutely” committed to nominating a black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court should there be a vacancy.
Asked whether Biden, who pledged to nominate a black woman to the court during his campaign, would follow through on that now that he’s president, Psaki touted the list of 11 judicial nominees the White House released Tuesday that included three African-Americans.
“I think there is an incredible group of nominees. The President announced today, you know, as someone who served for 17 years on the Senate Judiciary Committee as chairman and ranking member, he has a long history on judicial appointments. This is a priority for him,” she said.
“But our focus is on getting the Senate to confirm these group of nominees and to continue to build a pipeline of additional highly qualified nominees who are going to reflect the values the president has outlined,” she said.
She then added: “Of course, to nominate an African American woman to the Supreme Court. Yes, absolutely. It certainly is.”
In a statement announcing the nominations, the White House praised the “diversity” of the nominees.
“These highly-qualified candidates reflect the president’s deeply-held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people – both in background and in professional experience,” the statement said.
But during the White House briefing Psaki noted that a nomination can’t be made unless there is an opening and “there is not an opening on the Supreme Court.”
Six of the nine justices now serving were nominated by Republican presidents.
Former President Donald Trump has three appointees serving on the bench – Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.