President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixedWarner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 caseMORE is set to to have his first opportunity to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court after news broke that Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerWill the justices end race-based affirmative action? Overnight Health Care  Another Texas abortion setbackSupreme Court rebuffs abortion providers again over Texas 6-week banMORE is expected to announce his retirement in the coming days. 

Biden vowed multiple times during the 2020 campaign to appoint the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and a number of Democrats quickly began applying pressure on the president to follow through on that pledge. 

Breyers retirement, which had been a subject of speculation among Democrats, gives Biden and his party a chance to replace the 83-year-old jurist with a younger liberal justice and potentially diversify the bench.


The opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice is rare for presidents and can be a legacy-defining decision. Heres a look at some of the names Biden is likely to consider nominating as Breyers replacement. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson  

Jackson is widely seen as the front-runner to be nominated as Breyers replacement.

The Senate confirmed the 51-year-old on a 53-44 vote last June vote to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, widely viewed as the second-most powerful court in the country. She received support from all 50 Democrats, plus GOP support from Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, NATO eye ‘all scenarios’ with RussiaBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election lawThe Hill’s Morning Report – US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to EuropeMORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election lawThere is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protectionsTrump sold off the Arctic Refuge Congress must end this risky boondoggleMORE (Alaska) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalateJuan Williams: It’s Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP’s futureBiden’s year two won’t be about bipartisanship MORE (S.C.). 

In a narrowly divided Senate where Democrats can afford no defections without Republican support, Jackson offers a potential nominee who has already been confirmed by moderates like Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden to meet with CEOs to discuss Build Back Better agendaHoyer says ‘significant’ version of Build Back Better will pass this yearGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: reportMORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: reportThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden’s public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to comeMORE (D-Ariz.). 

Jackson, who is Black, filled the vacancy on the D.C. court created by Bidens pick of Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandAre the legal walls closing in on Donald Trump?Newsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like ‘third world country’Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyerMORE to serve as attorney general. 

She previously served as a federal district court judge in D.C., and was considered for the Supreme Court in 2016 when former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhat does the Preamble to the Constitution have to do with Build Back Better?White House underscores action amid violent crime streakBiden frustration with Fox News breaks through surfaceMORE was searching for a nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Leondra Kruger

Kruger serves on the California Supreme Court, to which she was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in 2014.

She worked as a clerk for the late Justice John Paul Stevens and later served in the Obama administration as an assistant to the solicitor general and acting principal deputy solicitor general. In those roles, she argued a dozen cases in front of the Supreme Court. 

Her name was among those circulated by progressive groups in December 2020 when they urged Biden to name a Black woman as solicitor general, a position for which he ultimately chose Elizabeth Prelogar.

Kruger, who is 45, would be the youngest justice on the bench if nominated and confirmed. 

J. Michelle Childs 

Biden nominated Childs, a federal district court judge in South Carolina, to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just one month ago. Though her confirmation is still pending, her name is circulating as among the top contenders for Breyer’s seat.

Her odds have been boosted, largely thanks to a powerful ally in Democratic leadership: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the No. 3 House Democrat.

Clyburn had already been pushing Childs, who is 55, as a potential high court nominee, The New York Times reported last year, touting her blue-collar roots in a state that was key to Biden’s victory. Childs graduated from University of South Carolina’s law school, which Clyburn emphasized as an additional point of diversity to set her apart from the Ivy League-dominated legal elite.

She is the kind of person who has the sort of experiences that would make her a good addition to the Supreme Court, Clyburn told the Times.

But a Childs nomination would be a departure from Biden’s first-year records of elevating judicial nominees with backgrounds as public defenders and civil rights attorneys. Her early record as a white collar lawyer specializing in defending employers in workplace suits may provoke an outcry from progressives who have thus far applauded Biden’s judicial confirmation record.

Sherrilyn Ifill

Ifill is a prominent civil rights lawyer who has served as the president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for nearly a decade.

Ifill announced in November she would step down from her role in the spring of 2022. She was included on TIMEs list of 100 Most Influential People list last year.

Through her work with the NAACP LDF, Ifill has been a prominent voice on a number of issues important to Democrats, including voting rights, diversity training and other civil rights issues.

Some advocates have pushed Biden to consider professional diversity when considering his court picks, and Ifills history as a civil rights lawyer would fit the bill. But one potential obstacle facing Ifill, who is 59, is she has not been through a Senate confirmation hearing, and the White House may not want to risk it in such a narrowly divided Senate.

Other names to watch: 

Circuit Judge Eunice Lee and Circuit Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi have both been floated as potential candidates. 

Both were former public defenders nominated by Biden to serve on the federal bench and were confirmed last year. Both are women of color, and their past experience would bring professional diversity to the Supreme Court.

Multiple reporters asked White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care  Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaulQatar emir to meet with Biden at White House next weekWhite House underscores action amid violent crime streakMORE on Wednesday about the potential of nominating Vice President Harris, a former California attorney general. Biden has said he intends to run alongside Harris in 2024  and she said shes not interested in the job.

Some advocacy groups have urged Biden to consider nominating a Latino to the bench, though doing so would likely inflame tensions with some of the Black voters who propelled Biden to the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on Wednesday suggested Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrativeThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022Overnight Energy & Environment Lummis holds up Biden EPA picksMORE (D-Nev.), who is up for re-election this year, and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and former California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden to make voting rights play in AtlantaDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exitOvernight Health Care  Insurance will soon cover COVID-19 tests MORE as potential nominees.