VP Kamala Harris could be appointed as the first black female Supreme Court Justice, after the news Wednesday that liberal Stephen Breyer is retiring from the court, allowing President Biden to hire a successor.
The retirement is right on time, and would maximize the chances that Joe Biden’s pick would get confirmed, ahead of a potential Senate flip to the GOP in the midterms, and amid falling opinion polls for the president before 2024.
Joe Biden promised before the South Carlolina primary back in 2020 — the moment he took control of the race, thanks to black Americans — and again one of the last Dem. Party presidential primary debates that his first Court nominee would be a black woman.
Unlike Donald Trump, who gave a list of possible appointees when he ran for president in 2016, Biden did not say who his choices could be. There was talk about Justice Leondra Kruger from the California Supreme Court; and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, from a district court in D.C., but nothing firm was mentioned.
However, Kamala Harris, who was a District Attorney in California before getting elected to the United States and then as VP, would give another option with a very controversial, legal résumé.
Nominating Harris might also help Biden and the Dems solve the problem posed by Kamala Harris’s unpopularity. Biden has faced questions about his physical and mental abilities, casting doubts about his ability to win reelection in 2024, or even play out his term. Harris being more unpopular than Biden, however, makes her an unwanted replacement for him.
By nominating Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court, Democrats could create an open slot in the VP — and while they still have the Congress under their control, all it would take to approve a successor to Harris would be a majority vote, according to the Constutiton.
Likely contenders include Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who has struggled to deal with the responsibilities of his job but has been very visible and is known to want to be President. He would also be the first openly gay person to be President of the United States.