White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment at a press conference Thursday on when the Biden administration learned of Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Fox News reported.
''This was Justice Breyer's decision to make, on his own timeline and through his own conditions he determined,'' Psaki said, adding that the administration had no influence over his retirement.
''So, we aren't going to lay out more specifics from here in terms of when the president was aware,'' she concluded.
Breyer's plan to retire was publicly leaked on Wednesday, reportedly upsetting the justice. He notified President Joe Biden on Thursday of his intent to resign. Soon after, the president told reporters that a replacement nominee would be chosen by the end of next month.
Biden affirmed a campaign pledge at the White House on Thursday that the nominee would be the first Black woman on the high court, according to CNN.
''Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer's legacy of excellence and decency. 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.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Thursday that the Senate would move quickly on Biden's nominee to replace Breyer.
''The Senate will have a fair process that moves quickly so we can confirm President Biden's nominee to fill Justice Breyer's seat as soon as possible,'' Schumer said.
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