U.S. President Joe Biden has made a final decision on who he will pick to be his first Supreme Court nominee, U.S. media reported Thursday night.
The president promised during his 2020 campaign to elevate the first Black woman to America’s highest bench, which he reiterated after Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, announced his retirement in late January.
CNN first reported that Biden had made his decision, which was later confirmed by CBS News, both citing sources familiar with the process.
The cable network added that the decision could come as soon as Friday but no later than Monday, the day before Biden’s State of the Union address.
The White House has been tight-lipped about who it will choose to replace Breyer, a liberal stalwart who plans to retire in June at the end of the court’s current term.
Among the favorites are U.S. Circuit Court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, South Carolina judge Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court judge Leondra Kruger.
Biden has previously said he planned on making a decision by the end of February.
Asked whether the Russian invasion of Ukraine had altered that timelines, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday Biden was “still on track to make an announcement before the end of the month.”
The selection of a Supreme Court justice involves extensive background checks to prevent unwelcome surprises during televised Senate nomination hearings.
If Biden’s pick can successfully pass the evenly divided Senate, she will become the third African American on the Supreme Court — after Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas (who is still on the court). She would be the first Black woman.