Following Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement that he will retire this year, a whirlwind of activity began within the Democratic Party to find a nominee. President Joe Biden promised to fill the vacancy with a black woman, but not everyone agrees on who that should be, especially when it comes to one particular candidate.
A Potential Candidate
The Biden administration has openly said the president is considering Michelle Childs, a judge from South Carolina. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) jumped on the bandwagon to throw his support firmly behind Childs. He is working hard to press others to back her.
Considered the moderate option, Childs does have the highest likelihood of likely potential contenders to gain GOP support. For example, she already has Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in her corner.
Opposition Within the Left
Some Democrats strongly oppose Childs due to her previous work representing corporations. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) refused to comment on her potential nomination, and Sen.r Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke about how the nominee should understand the plight of working families and the impact of corporations.
Many on the Left support the idea of ensuring any candidate understands the need to balance corporate power with the needs of the average worker. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) said this is the test she will apply to nominees. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a Judiciary Committee member, said he would look closely into her work associated with employment cases if she is the nominee.
Others in the party offer a bit more support for Childs. They note that the cases a lawyer handles do not always reflect their personal ideals. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said looking at those working in the legal field requires care because you cannot always label them based on their past clients.
Opposition and Support From the Outside
Progressive groups also have their issues with Childs. Our Revolution chair Larry Cohen remarked on the judge’s anti-union affiliations and how a pro-union president wouldn’t choose her. Combating the talk of her anti-union background, a lawyer who worked for the same firm, Nexsen Pruet Jacobs & Pollard, said Childs never worked on union cases because the firm didn’t start handling them until well after she left.
The work from the White House is the president will decide on the nominee before the end of February. Until he chooses, he is consulting with party lawmakers and outside groups. He is also open to discussions with members of all parties to get recommendations. The administration said Biden will choose whoever has the strongest background, character, and record on the bench.