Jen Psaki will only say Biden "believes in a woman's right to choose."
The White House spokeswoman shut down conversation when a reporter asked her if President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee will have to be pro-abortion.
Responding to EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen, who asked, “Will that person have to be pro-abortion?” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said February 1, “I’m not going to outline a litmus test from here today.”
Biden will have his first opportunity to shape the U.S. Supreme Court, following Justice Stephen Breyer’s recent announcement that he is retiring at the end of the current court year. Breyer, 83, has been one of the court’s most consistent votes in favor of upholding abortion rights. In the wake of President Trump’s appointment of three justices during his four years in office, which solidified a conservative majority on the court, it is thought that Breyer, whether on his own or at the administration’s urging, is retiring in order to increase the chance that Biden can fill his seat with a similarly liberal justice.
The president pledged to nominate a black woman – which would be a historical first – but has not indicated any candidates.
“I will nominate someone with extraordinary qualifications, charity, experience and integrity,” Biden said January 27. “And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”
At the February 1 White House briefing, Psaki said, “The president is going to select an eminently-qualified black woman to serve on the court. He’s going to do that through consulting with a range of members of Congress, through outside experts, and obviously through engagement with them directly.”
Jensen, the EWTN reporter, continued to press Psaki, asking a question he often asks at press briefings, as to when Biden, a professed Catholic, believes life begins. He noted that in the past Biden has said he does not believe that life begins at conception.
Psaki simply said the president “believes in a woman’s right to choose.”
Jensen clarified that his question is “essential to the debate over the question of a baby’s viability and pro-life Americans, don’t you agree, should know where the president stands in his thinking. It’s a fundamental question.”