Washington —President Biden has been examining more than 12 candidates to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer at the Supreme Court. A source familiar with the process said that Biden is looking into a range of potential nominees, from academia to the federal bench.

The White House confirmed last Wednesday that Michelle Childs, U.S. District Judge, is one of the nominees Mr. Biden has weighed for the top court. Judge Ketanji Jackson of the District of Columbia’s federal appeals court and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger of the California Supreme Court are among those being considered for the upcoming vacancy.

Although the source did not include all three, it was believed they were joined by the source as possible candidates for:

  • Judge Holly Thomas, 9th Circuit
  • Federal Circuit Judge Tiffany Cunningham
  • Judge Candace Jackson Akiwumi, 7th Circuit
  • Judge Eunice Lee, 2nd Circuit
  • Judge Wilhelmina Wright, federal district court in Minnesota
  • Nancy Abudu, Mr. Biden’s nominee for the 11th Circuit
  • Arianna Freeman is Mr. Biden’s nominee for the 3rd Circuit
  • North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls
  • Sherrilyn Ifill is president and director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
  • Melissa Murray, New York University professor of law

Breyer declared last week that he would retire from the Supreme Court after the current term, assuming that a successor has been elected. Breyer, who was appointed as the court’s senior liberal bloc member in 1994, was the subject of a strong pressure campaign by progressive groups to allow him to resign and let Mr. Biden fill the seat. Democrats hold the Senate narrowly.

Breyer’s retirement allows the president to make history together with his nominee. As Mr. Biden stated last week, he will keep his campaign promise to name the First Black woman to the Supreme Court. He stated that the president plans to announce his nominee by February’s end.

Many of the candidates under consideration were nominated or appointed to federal circuit courts by Mr. Biden. Ifill was a member of the president’s commission to examine reform proposals for the Supreme Court.

Jackson was tapped by the president to be the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Appeals Circuit Circuit Judge. Childs, on the other hand, has a strong supporter in Jim Clyburn, a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina.

Clyburn, the House majority whip was behind Mr. Biden’s promise to nominate the First Black woman to the Supreme Court. His endorsement of then-candidate Biden for 2020 was a pivotal moment in the Democratic presidential primaries.

South Carolina Lindsey Graham (a Republican) also praised Childs Sunday, telling Face the Nation that he could not think of a better person to give President Biden consideration to the Supreme Court than Michelle Childs.

Graham was one of the three Republicans who voted for Jackson and Jackson-Akiwumi’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit and 7th Circuit. Cunningham was also supported by a number of GOP senators to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit. This court hears civil appeals as well as patent appeals.