President Biden said he’s done a “deep dive” on about four potential candidates for the Supreme Court open seat that will be left vacant when Justice Stephen Breyer retires, and he said he thinks whomever he eventually picks will receive GOP support. 

The president made the comments in an interview he gave to NBC News’ Lester Holt on Wednesday. 

“I think whomever I think will get a vote from the Republican side for the following reason — I’m not looking to make an ideological choice,” the president told Holt. I’m looking for someone to replace Judge Breyer with the same kind of capacity Judge Breyer had, with an open mind who understands the Constitution and interprets it in a way that is consistent with the mainstream interpretation of the Constitution.”


Breyer announced his retirement from the court at the end of last month, and Mr. Biden has pledged to replace him with a Black woman. Mr. Biden said he’s doing a “deep dive” on those roughly four candidates. 

“What I’ve done is I’ve taken about four people and done the deep dive on them, meaning the thorough background checks, and see if there’s anything in the background that would make them not qualified,” the president told Holt. 

President Biden speaks about the counterterrorism operation in Syria from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 2022.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

That would be fewer than the more than dozen potential candidates the president was weighing at the end of last month. 

Mr. Biden is meeting with Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon to discuss the Supreme Court situation, and the White House says he’s been in touch with Republicans as well. 

Supreme Court search highlights calls for educational diversity on the bench

The full interview is expected to air on NBC on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Kathryn WatsonKathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital based in Washington, D.C.