President Joe Biden nominates federal appeals court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black woman on the United States Supreme Court.
President Joe Biden has nominated US Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court, the White House said.
By nominating a Black woman, Biden fulfills a 2020 campaign promise to make the historic appointment and further diversify the US Supreme Court, which was made up entirely of white men for nearly two centuries.
Jackson, 51, would be the first former high court public defender, though she has an elite legal background. Jackson would be only the third black judge in United States history and only the sixth woman to serve on the court. Her likely confirmation by the Senate would mean that, for the first time, four women would sit together on the nine-member court.
Biden said Jackson is “one of the brightest legal minds in our nation and will be an exceptional judge” in his Twitter announcement.
I am proud to announce that I am nominating Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court. He currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, he is one of the brightest legal minds in our nation and will be an exceptional judge.https://t.co/iePvhz1YaA pic.twitter.com/Nzqv2AtN8h
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 25, 2022
Jackson would join the liberal minority of a conservative dominated court who is weighing cuts to right to abortiongun regulations and college admissions of minorities while allowing states to impose restrictions on voting rights.
Biden is filling the seat to be vacated by Judge Stephen Breyer, 83, who outgoing at the end of the term this summer. By replacing Breyer, one of the more liberal justices, Jackson would not tip the scales of the court, which now leans 6-3 in favor of conservatives.
Jackson once worked as Breyer’s paralegal early in his legal career. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and law school student, and served on the US Sentencing Commission, the agency that develops federal sentencing policy, before becoming a federal judge in 2013.
Biden had nominated Jackson to serve on the influential US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year.
In his brief time on the appeals court, Jackson wrote two majority opinions, including one in favor of public sector unions challenging a regulation issued under former Republican President Donald Trump that curtailed their bargaining power.
She was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in December against Trump’s attempt to prevent White House records from being turned over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Capitol Hill by part of a mob of his supporters. The Supreme Court last month refused to block that decision
His appointment is subject to confirmation by the 50-50 US Senate, where Democrats have a slim majority with Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaker. Democratic leaders have promised swift but deliberate consideration of the president’s nominee.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had endorsed another candidate from his home state of South Carolina, expressed his disappointment on Twitter.
If the media reports are accurate and Justice Jackson has been chosen as a Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Breyer, it means that the radical left has won over President Biden once again.
The left’s attacks on Judge Childs of South Carolina apparently worked.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 25, 2022
US District Court Judge J Michelle Childs of South Carolina and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra R Kruger were considered by Biden for the nomination.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin has said he wants the Senate to move quickly on the nomination, and senators have set a confirmation target of mid-April.
But that timeline could be complicated by developments between Russia and Ukraine and the extended absence of Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who suffered a stroke last month and will be out for several weeks. Democrats would need Luján’s vote to confirm Biden’s pick if no Republican supports it.
Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative, is the only other black justice currently sitting on the court. The late Justice Thurgood Marshall, nominated by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1967, was the first and only other black man to serve on the Supreme Court.