Election On the Hill

Biden Pledges to Pick a Woman for VP; Will Appoint a Black Woman to SCOTUS

During Sunday night’s CNN-Univision debate, former Vice President Joe Biden said that he would choose a woman to be his vice-presidential running mate.

According to Biden in a piece by CNN, “If I’m elected president, my Cabinet, my administration will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a, pick a woman to be vice president,” as, “there are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow.”

Kate Sullivan, Politics Reporter for CNN, explains that, “on the campaign trail, Biden has expressed openness to choosing one of his former 2020 rivals, including Klobuchar, Harris, and Warren. Harris and Klobuchar have both endorsed Biden for president. Biden has also talked about former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates in conversations about a potential vice presidential pick.”

During the debate, Biden also reiterated a pledge to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court if he is elected this November. Vox Senior Correspondent Ian Millhiser notes that, “only two African Americans, Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, have served on the Supreme Court. And only one woman of color, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, has joined the Court. If Biden is elected and follows through on that promise, his nominee would be the first black woman to serve as a justice.

According to Millhiser, “if a seat were to open up on the Supreme Court early, one obvious contender for such a nomination is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who currently serves on the US District Court for the District of Columbia.” Other potential appointees include Justices Leondra Kruger, Michelle Alexander, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Melissa Murray.

Since the presidency of George H.W. Bush, there have been thirteen Supreme Court nominations. Out of those thirteen nominees, only four have been women – Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriet Miers, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Out of those four women, three were appointed and only one was a woman of color.

Sources: CNN 3/15; Vox 3/15; senate.gov 3/2020; supremecourt.gov 3/2020