When will President Biden nominate historic Black woman Supreme Court justice?

EXCLUSIVE: Several sources close to the White House describe to theGrio the thinking of the Biden White House as anticipation for the historic announcement builds.

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Vice President Kamala Harris is overseas and slated to meet with state leaders over rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, a country that continues to violate a ceasefire peace agreement.  

As Harris is away dealing with this world-scale matter, the prevailing thought inside and around the White House is that President Joe Biden is not expected to announce his pick for the Supreme Court this weekend. 

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a meeting with Baltic leaders at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 18, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Several sources close to the White House told theGrio that the optics of an announcement of a historic Black woman Supreme Court nominee without his powerful number two, Vice President Harris, a Black woman, would not be well received. Harris has been a crucial voice in helping to select the top picks for the soon to be vacated SCOTUS seat, currently held by outgoing Justice Stephen Bryer.

However, with the anticipated announcement, there is a serious administration consideration for making sure nothing overshadows this historic moment, whether it be the conflict with Russia or any other issue. This announcement would be considered a much-needed win for the embattled Biden White House. 

Currently, there are said to be four Black women who are being eyed for the high court. Each meets some, if not all, the requirements to become the next United States Supreme Court justice, and the first Black woman Justice to sit on the bench. 

There are various factors and boxes to be checked in the White House selection process. One factor is age as presidents from both political parties have tried to find someone who can serve on the nine-member court for several decades. 

The initial list of candidates was nine or so names of contenders, many of whom were on a list when then President-elect Joe Biden was transitioning to the White House. The list has since been narrowed.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia and Ukraine in the East Room of the White House on February 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Now, four Black women are said to be the top contenders for the seat. Three of them have been highly publicized over the past few weeks: California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and federal district Judge J. Michelle Childs.

President Biden mentioned the historic announcement would be made by the end of this month that coincidentally is Black History Month. The announcement is step one of the process. The next move will be the mobilization of allies of the nominee and President Biden and the nominee from the grassroots level to the highest offices in the country. The Biden White House is said to have cast a broad net of those they are consulting with on the high court nominee who they will ultimately present to the nation in the coming days.

Left to right: Leondra Kruger, Ketanji Brown Jackson, J. Michelle Childs (Photo: AP/Getty Images)

The White House has been talking to ally groups consistently during this process to galvanize support for the nominee who is expected to take some hits in the United States Senate confirmation process. Those hits particularly may come from Republicans who have blocked Biden’s backed plans, proposals and nominees. 

Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable has been fighting for a Black woman Supreme Court nominee since former President Barack Obama was in office. She told theGrio in anticipation of the upcoming announcement and subsequent confirmation hearing, “for Black women and women of color it is always a harder leap for us, unfortunately.” 

This will be a completely new process as Black justices who have been nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court, were and are men. The first was Howard University graduate and civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall who began on the court in 1967 until his death in 1991.  President  George H. W. Bush nominated Republican Clarence Thomas who now sits on the court. Thomas has served on the court since 1991. 

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