May 23, 2022

White House: Biden considering Judge Michelle Childs for SCOTUS seat

As controversy continues to swirl over President Joe Biden’s pledge to consider only Black females for the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Stephen Breyer’s imminent retirement, the White House has confirmed reports that a federal District Court judge from South Carolina, Michelle Childs, is among those on the nominee shortlist.

According to Fox News, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates issued a statement saying, “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’ comment made reference to the fact that Childs had previously been set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week for a confirmation-related hearing on Capitol Hill concerning the D.C. Court of Appeals spot for which she was nominated by Biden back in December.

In acknowledging that Childs is indeed one of multiple women jurists currently in the running for Breyer’s seat at the high court, Bates added that “reporting indicating that the president is only seriously considering three potential nominees is incorrect.”

Though Childs is the first potential nominee the White House has explicitly confirmed to be under consideration for the Supreme Court opening, early reporting suggested that other possible candidates could include current D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill, and perhaps even Vice President Kamala Harris.

It is worth noting that Childs has received the strong backing of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), viewed by many as one of the most instrumental figures in helping Biden secure the Democratic nomination back in 2020, and someone to whom the president may feel he owes a substantial favor.

According to The Hill, Clyburn is especially supportive of Childs’ as a candidate for the vacancy because he believes that she would succeed in attracting the support of “several Republicans” and that he wants to make sure Biden’s choice is “a woman that will get universal support,” further noting, “[w]hen I say universal I mean bipartisan support.”

Clyburn appears to be correct in his expectation that Childs would draw support from at least a few GOP notables, as Sen. Lindsey Graham – also of South Carolina – lavished praise on the judge on Sunday, declaring that he “can’t think of a better person” for Biden to contemplate for placement on the court, as CBS News noted.

While it seems highly likely that Childs would bring a distinctly liberal viewpoint to bear if she does ascend to the Supreme Court, in Graham’s estimation, her non-Ivy League educational background would at least offer a diversity of perspective lacking among the sitting justices, and that is something the other rumored candidates cannot.

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