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If Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the presidential race in November, and the GOP-led Senate fails to confirm President Donald Trump’s expected Supreme Court nominee before he takes office, he’ll get to choose the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor.
As of Saturday, he had yet to release a list of Supreme Court nominees. According to a report published by the Associated Press on Thursday, a day before Ginsburg’s death, he was outright “resisting” calls from both the president and his fellow Democrats to get it done.
With Ginsburg now gone and a seat on the high court thus vacant, pressure from his fellow Democrats to release a list is now exploding. So is speculation over whom exactly Biden might pick.
While the public must wait until he releases his list to know for sure, in the meantime Fox News has put together a list of potential nominees based on discussions with “a number of sources, including officials with close ties to the Biden campaign.”
The list contains the following individuals:
- Judge Sri Srinivasan, D.C. Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington
- Justice Leondra Kruger, California Supreme Court
- Judge Paul Watford, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, chambers in Pasadena, Calif.
- Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Court, Washington.
- Judge Patricia Millett, D.C. Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington
- Judge Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Nguyen, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, chambers in Pasadena
- Judge Mary Murguia, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, chambers in Phoenix
- Judge Jane Kelly, 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, chambers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Lisa Madigan, former Illinois attorney general
- Judge David Barron, 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Boston
- Judge Robert Wilkins, D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington
- Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, California Supreme Court
- Judge Lucy Haeran Koh, U.S. District Court for Northern California, based in San Jose
- Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court
- Judge Cheryl Ann Krause, 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Philadelphia
- Kathryn Ruemmler, former Obama White House counsel
- Letitia James, New York attorney general
- Xavier Becerra, California attorney general
- Cory Booker, senator
- Amy Klobuchar, senator
Chances are high that Biden’s first SCOTUS pick would be a black woman, meaning most of the potential candidates seen above would be immediately dismissed. The evidence can be found in two separate statements he made this year.
Asked during a Democrat presidential primary debate in February about his personal motto, Biden went off on an unrelated tangent, saying, “I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court to make sure we in fact get everyone represented.”
Biden: I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/AVeORpyDV3
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) February 26, 2020
During a press conference four months later, he added, “We are putting together a list of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be on the court. I am not going to release that until we go further down the line in vetting them as well.”
Joe Biden: “We are putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be in the Court.” pic.twitter.com/Tebsx5bbm1
— The Hill (@thehill) July 1, 2020
Just because he’s vowed to nominate a black woman to the black court doesn’t mean his first SCOTUS pick would have to be a black woman. He could theoretically wait until his second or third pick, assuming those options present themselves, to elevate a black woman to the court.
The overall evidence does nonetheless point to him ultimately choosing someone’s who at least black — if not also a woman — for his first pick. Just take a look at his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
Before he selected her last month, Rep. Maxine Waters, a black woman, stated as a matter of undisputed fact that “he can’t go home without a black woman being VP.”
“He has certainly committed on the progressive side, we know that we’re going to have a Black woman who is going to be the vice president. … Let me guarantee you this, based on everything that I know and understand, and the help that he’s already gotten from the Black community … he can’t go home without a black woman being VP,” she said.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) August 8, 2020
Only a few short days later, Biden chose Harris. The sudden decision gave the appearances of having been motivated by a desire to cater to the black community (sometimes at the expense of every other community).
If Biden does go through with picking a black SCOTUS nominee, the remaining options would be Justice Leondra Kruger, a moderate; Judge Paul Watford, a moderate; Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who sided against the Trump administration in the Don McGahn case last year; New York AG Letitia James, the woman responsible for suing the NRA; and Sen. Cory Booker, aka “Spartacus.”
James would likely pose the biggest threat to conservatives given her willingness to pull what some have argued is an unconstitutional power grab against the NRA.
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