(PresidentialWire.com)- CNN reported recently that officials in the White House have begun the process of contacting potential candidates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, gathering information regarding their records.
President Joe Biden self-imposed a deadline of three more weeks to name a nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
In addition to reaching out to the candidates directly, the FBI has begun contacting former colleagues and friends of some of the people who could be the nominee.
A source within the senior administration indicated to CNN that in-person meetings between staff and potential candidates haven’t been held just yet. The source also said most of those “meetings” are likely to happen on the phone.
The president has spent many nights recently reviewing information related to some of his potential picks for the high court. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Tuesday that Biden was reviewing information on all the people he is considering for the position.
As he’s looking at the process, he’s reviewing not just bios, but he’s also reviewing cases and he is looking at binders of cases, because he is … taking this approach very seriously. He’s taking a very thorough approach to it.”
Part of that process will also be “engagement with individuals,” Psaki said, as well as “vetting documents.”
Later on in the process, the president would be interviewing the candidates. Psaki said that would happen at “the very end of the process,” though.
Breyer announced late last month that he would be retiring from the Supreme Court once his successor is confirmed. Biden said he expected to name a replacement by the end of this month.
He also said recently that he plans to live up to a campaign promise he made, which was to nominate a Black woman.
In addition to that promise, the president also apparently is sticking to his promise of seeking the consent and advice of Senate members in naming a replacement justice. Last week, he hosted the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrat Dick Durbin from Illinois, and the ranking Republican on that committee, Chuck Grassley from Iowa.
Biden also spoke over the phone with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding the nomination process.
The “sherpa” in this process — the term in Washington to describe the person who will guide the nominee through the whole process — will be Doug Jones, a former senator from Alabama. He already started his work in preparation for the role earlier this week at the White House.
Over the next few weeks, Jones will work out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. After Biden formally announces his selection, Jones will then arrange meetings with senators and help the nominee prepare for the upcoming confirmation hearings.
Officials within the Biden administration have said that other outside advisers are likely to begin their work for the confirmation process this week, and some have already done so.