Just hours after Justice John Paul Stevens handed in his retirement notice, President Barack Obama came under pressure to appoint a second black justice to the Supreme Court.

A leading African-American lawmaker is urging Obama to consider women and minority candidates as he selects a replacement for Stevens.

“It is essential President Obama consider gender and ethnic diversity on the high court in an increasingly diverse America,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement Friday, in which she also praised Stevens’s long years of service on the court.

When Justice David Souter left the court a year ago, CBC members suggested Obama consider one of their own colleagues, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

“He has that much-talked-about judicial temperament, and he would be able to serve with distinction for a long time,” Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told The Hill at the time. “I hope it is something that advisers to the president would take seriously.”

There is currently one African-American on the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1991. There have never been two African-American justices at the same time.

Obama ultimately chose Sonia Sotomayor, making her the first Latina – and just the third woman – member of the high court. Of the names widely mentioned as comprising a short list this time around, several are women but none are African-Americans.