President Joe Biden spent parts of the weekend reviewing materials on potential successors to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as his self-imposed end-of-February deadline inches closer.
Biden is “currently reviewing the legal record and writings of potential nominees, all of whom deserve fair bipartisan review,” according to White House talking points on the Supreme Court search shared with outside surrogates and obtained by CNN on Monday.
Biden spent part of his weekend at Camp David reviewing potential Supreme Court candidates, a White House official said, but he did not speak with any. Those conversations, the official reaffirmed, “could happen as soon as this week” and are likely to be in person.
Biden has been studying materials from at least four prospective candidates, including Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and South Carolina US District Judge J. Michelle Childs. The name of a fourth leading contender has not been reported, with officials stressing the President reserves the right to adjust the list at any time.
Biden and other top officials also continue to engage with lawmakers.
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, White House Counsel Dana Remus and former Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who will guide the nominee through the confirmation process in the role known in Washington as “Sherpa,” “will continue to speak with a wide range of Members of Congress and outside legal experts, as part of the bipartisan consultation process,” the talking points said.
CNN has previously reported that Biden was expected to review Supreme Court material at Camp David, but it had been unclear whether that was able to happen due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. Biden was also engaged on that situation, with calls to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the matter.
That evolving crisis has not derailed the President’s plans to make a decision ahead of his March 1 State of the Union address, as of yet. The White House official told CNN Biden is still expected to make a decision before the end of the month, two weeks from now.
White House officials began reaching out to potential Supreme Court candidates to gather more information about their records last week. And, as a part of the normal protocol in the vetting process, the FBI has contacted friends and former colleagues of potential nominees.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.