Jen Psaki is asked if VP Kamala Harris would be considered as SCOTUS nomination to replace Breyer

Reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer would be retiring set off immediate speculation about his replacement, with many of those questions coming up during the White House daily press briefing.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki generally deflected questions about replacements for the 83-year-old justice who has not yet personally spoken on the reports of his retirement. Psaki did tell reporters Wednesday that President Joe Biden “stands by” his 2020 campaign promise to nominate a black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

“The president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a black woman to the Supreme Court and certainly stands by that,” Psaki said.

At the time, Biden said in the Democratic debate of February 2020: “We talked about the Supreme Court — 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.”

(Video: Forbes)

Questions about that woman possibly being Biden’s running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, or who other choices could be were not answered by Psaki.

“For today, again, I’m just not going to be able to say anything about any specifics until, of course, Justice Breyer makes any announcement, should he decide to make an announcement,” the press secretary said.

She was asked “what preparations is the White House engaged in broadly in the case of a Supreme Court vacancy?”

“I’m just not going to detail any of that from here,” Psaki replied, prompting the reporter to note, “doesn’t every White House like to get ahead of this in case of a sudden passing — in the case of Ruth Bader Ginsburg? None of that you can share? ”

Psaki declined, saying she was “not going to detail internal planning from here.”

“Is there any scenario in which the President would select his Vice President, Kamala Harris, for the Supreme Court?” the reporter pressed.

“Again, I’m not going to speak to any considerations, preparations, lists,” Psaki responded.

“And as we’ve stated earlier, and you heard the President say, it is — there’s a long history of Supreme Court justices determining when they may retire, if they retire, and announcing that. And we’re going to — that remains the case today,” she added.

Breyer, one of the liberal justices on the Supreme Court, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994.

Frieda Powers


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