“The short list are nominees who are incredibly well qualified and documented. They were the honor students, they come from the best universities, they have experience, some on the bench, some in the practice,” Biden told NBC News’ Lester Holt in a preview of the president’s first sit-down interview of the year.
“What I’ve done is I’ve taken about four people and done a deep dive on them, meaning thorough background checks and to see if there’s anything in the background that would make them not qualified,” Biden added.
Biden expressed optimism his eventual pick would win bipartisan support in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, though Democrats are down a vote in the interim while Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) recovers from a stroke.
“I’m not looking to make an ideological choice here, I’m looking for someone to replace Justice 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,” Biden told Holt.
Biden has pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court to replace Breyer, and he has said he plans to announce his pick by the end of February.
The White House has been tight-lipped about the selection process, though it has acknowledged South Carolina federal judge J. Michelle Childs is under consideration. Others believed to be in the running include Kentanji Brown Jackson, who was confirmed last year to serve on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and Leondra Kruger, who sits on the California Supreme Court.
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