The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier Friday said it was delaying Childs’ nomination hearing because she is on a list of Biden’s potential picks to serve on the Supreme Court.
“Judge Childs is among multiple individuals under consideration for the Supreme Court, and we are not going to move her nomination on the Court of Appeals while the President is considering her for this vacancy,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.
“Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,” the President said. “While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”
Biden said he will make his choice by the end of February.
A shortlist of potential nominees had been circulating Washington well before Breyer’s retirement plans became public, and officials in the White House Counsel’s office built files on various candidates in anticipation of a potential vacancy.
Childs is one of a number of women who have been said to be on the President’s shortlist, including DC Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Childs does not have the Ivy League pedigree shared by eight of the nine justices. Her cheerleaders have touted her public-school education and other elements of her background as an advantage for Democrats, according to a 2021 New York Times report, and as a way to fight back against claims that the party has become too elitist in its makeup.
In addition to a decade spent in private practice, the 55-year-old served as a state court trial judge on the South Carolina Circuit, as the deputy director of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.