(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative James Clyburn said he talked to Joe Biden about nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court before the South Carolina Democrat made his pivotal endorsement during the 2020 presidential primary.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power with David Westin,” Clyburn confirmed reports he had pressed Biden on the issue in advance of the Feb. 25, 2020 South Carolina Democratic debate, when the candidate used his closing statement to promise he would nominate the court’s first Black justice.
“I have three daughters,” said Clyburn, who is Black. “I think I would be less than a good dad if I did not say to the president-to-be, this is an issue that is simmering in the African-American community that Black women think they have as much right to sit on the Supreme Court as any other women, and up to that point none had been considered.”
According to the new book “Peril,” by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Clyburn made his endorsement conditional on Biden’s commitment to nominating a Black woman. The book says that during a break in the debate, Clyburn pushed Biden to reveal his intentions that night. Biden went on to win the primary and cement himself as the front-runner for the nomination.
Liberal advocates have been calling for Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, to retire so that Biden will have a vacancy to fill while Democrats control the Senate. Potential nominees include California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, Washington-based federal appeals court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and federal district judge Michelle Childs of Clyburn’s state of South Carolina.
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