J. Michelle Childs, currently a judge for the U.S. District Court, is on the list of candidates that Biden is considering, Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, told media outlets in a Jan. 28 statement.
Childs was nominated to the district court by former President Barack Obama. Biden, a Democrat, nominated Childs, 55, in December 2021 to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But because of the possibility that she'll be Biden's Supreme Court nominee, a confirmation hearing that had been scheduled before the Senate Judiciary Committee has been postponed.
“Judge Childs is among multiple individuals under consideration for the Supreme Court, and we are not going to move her nomination on the Court of Appeals while the President is considering her for this vacancy," Bates said.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, said during a recent appearance on MSNBC that he thinks Childs should be the replacement for Breyer.
"She has had a fantastic career at both the state level and on the federal bench. And so, she has the experience that is needed, and she has the temperament that's required," he said.
Clyburn said he spoke with Biden about Childs some time ago, but not recently.
She also said she thinks that "empathy should play no role in a judge’s application of the law to the facts of a case."
Other judges that Biden reportedly is considering include California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson.
“The person I nominate will be somebody with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court," Biden said on Jan. 27. "It’s long overdue in my opinion."
Two black men have served as justices—the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, nominated by late President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, and Justice Clarence Thomas, nominated by late President George H. W. Bush, a Republican.
Biden was a senator who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when Thomas was nominated. He attempted to derail the nomination, but was unsuccessful. Thomas, 73, still sits on the court.