COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Before Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer even made the official announcement that he would be stepping down at the end of this term, speculation began about who would replace the court’s senior liberal.
While the balance of power will likely remain the same — six to three with conservatives tipping the scale — the new appointment is expected to be historic.
During a February 25 debate in Charleston, then-candidate Joe Biden said that his first appointment to the Supreme Court would be a Black woman. Only five women have served on the nation’s highest court since its creation, and none of them have been Black.
According to reporting by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes for their book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency,” the announcement came at the urging of President Biden’s longtime friend, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who ran backstage during a break in the debate to drive the point home.
President Biden listened, Clyburn gave his endorsement, and the primary-season tide turned.
Now with an upcoming vacancy in the Supreme Court and a promise to fulfill, another South Carolina name is emerging as a key player: Judge Michelle Childs.
Childs is a University of South Carolina School of Law graduate. She was appointed to serve as U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina by President Barack Obama in 2010, and was most recently nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Among other top candidates reportedly being considered for the role are Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, according to the Associated Press.