Time: How Joe Biden Is Choosing a Supreme Court Nominee


With a freshly stoked fire roaring in the fireplace behind him, President Joe Biden welcomed into the Oval Office Tuesday two of the most powerful Senators charged with considering his pick for Supreme Court. “We’re different parties, but two good friends,” Biden said, gesturing toward the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and his fellow Democrat, committee chair Dick Durbin of Illinois. “We’ve done an awful lot of Supreme Court Justices together,” Biden said, referring to his own history as a leading Senator on the committee.

But Biden’s never gone through the grueling Supreme Court nomination process—which has been particularly divisive in recent years—from this end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Biden pointed to a line in Article II of the Constitution that instructs the President to nominate Justices “with the advice and consent” of the Senate. “I’m serious when I say it,” Biden said, “I want the advice of the Senate as well as the consent.”

While the White House has not publicly confirmed any of the 10 names under consideration, Jackson is widely considered a top contender. She clerked for Breyer, served as a district judge for over eight years, and in June was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia with 53 votes in the Senate, including Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Graham. A history of bipartisan support could give her an advantage, as well as the fact that the White House could move quickly on her since she was recently vetted for the D.C. Circuit position. Biden reportedly personally interviewed Jackson before she was nominated for the D.C. Circuit court. “Essentially [the White House] can just do a quick update to her background investigation and vetting and nominate her quickly,” says Mike Davis, who served as chief nominations counsel when Grassley chaired the Judiciary Committee during the Trump Administration.